March 7, 2015 –
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The sounds of gunfire ringing through the halls of a building. The dead silence of sudden panic. The only audible sounds are shrieks of fear and your own heartbeat. This is a scenario that many in America fear, but do not prepare for – an active shooter. Whether it is at local schools, or a place of work, many have seen similar incidents broadcast of innocent citizens killed or injured by an active shooter.
For the Hoover, Alabama, Police Department and Soldiers from the 87th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command (East), preparing for a worst-case scenario of an active shooter incident was key during a joint training event held March 7 at the Horace B. Hanson Reserve Center in Birmingham, Ala.
“We always train every year for anti-terrorism scenarios; but having the opportunity to work with the Hoover Police Department adds very real level of training for both of our organizations,” said Sgt. First Class Jamie Sisler, 87th USARSC (E).
Officer Matt Savage, Hoover Police Department, agreed that the cooperation between the Hoover Police and Army Reserve added a level of realism to the training.
“It is great to be able to have the ability to use the Army Reserve’s personnel and facilities to train for an active shooter incident so close to home,” said Savage. “Both of our organizations train for this kind of incident but it is very different when it is a live simulation.”
The City of Hoover has not had an active shooter event, but Savage said that as a police officer it is imperative to prepare for any situation.
“Incidents with active shooters happen all over the world; we have been lucky in Hoover to never experience one firsthand – but you always want to be ready,” said Savage.