This story is part of a KXAN series of reports called “Stop Mass Shootings,” providing context and exploring solutions surrounding gun violence in the wake of the deadly Uvalde school shooting. We want our reports to be a resource for Texans, as well as for lawmakers who are convening a month after the events in Uvalde to discuss how the state should move forward. Explore all “Stop Mass Shootings” stories by clicking here.
HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — Every second counts in an active shooter scenario, and with police training for such events in the public eye, the Hutto Police Department did its part on Wednesday.
“Here with our agency we do a lot of training,” said Officer Josh Bellenir with HPD.
Yelling could be heard inside Hutto ISD’s ninth-grade center as officers fired off fake rounds. The live simulation is meant to test officers and make sure they know exactly what to do if an active shooter is present.
“It provides them with the ability to see how they will respond,” said Bellenir.
“Many are unpredictable, in fact, most are unpredictable, but what can be predictable is your response,” said Hutto Police Chief Jeffrey Yarbrough.
Yarbrough said he’s working on a program that would offer four active shooter training sessions a year. He said the more, the better, but learning new ways to respond is also crucial.
“As society has changed, the expectations of law enforcement has changed and we have to change in a manner where we not only keep up, but we have to be ahead of the curve,” said Yarbrough.
Communication is another important aspect of the training. HPD, along with Hutto ISD police and other nearby agencies, were all in attendance.
“As you have seen from any of the past events, if it is a mass response you are going to have hundreds of first responders to any kind of mass casualty event and they aren’t always going to be from the same agency,” said HISD police chief William Edwards. “The better communication we have, the quicker we are going to be able to go through the evolution of a successful closure to that particular incident.”
HPD plans on holding more training sessions with nearby agencies over the next few weeks.