'We can't try to talk to somebody who is actively killing our kids'
EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon State Police practiced sweeping a school for a shooting suspect this week at an empty elementary in south Eugene.
Terry Miller, Oregon State Police senior trooper, said the training is part of an effort to get every state trooper in the state trained to respond to an active shooter event.
"After the Columbine High School shooting in '99, we learned that we can't stay outside and try to talk to somebody who is actively killing our kids," Miller said.
Eugene 4J School District made Parker Elementary off East Amazon available to state police for the training.
"It's really hard for us to do training for our guys that's realistic in another faciltiy that doesn't offer the floor plan that a school does," Miller said.
Troopers practiced how to move through doorways, around corners, amidst overturned desks and down hallways amidst the possible peril of an armed and dangerous person.
"There is some stress involved in this training," Miller said. "And we know if we train under stress, we can preform better under stress.
"An active shooter event can be the most chaotic event of an officer's career and quite overwhelming," he said. "The goal of an active shooter is a body count: A high number of casualties."
Miller said trainers want to provide officers with a script on how to bring that chaos back under control as efficiently as possible.