IN, UNITED STATES
Story by Spc. Eddie Serra
205th Press Camp Headquarters
MUSCATATUCK URBAN TRAINING CENTER, Ind. – On a gloomy day filled with rain, officers from the Indiana State Police lined up one-by-one, geared with their protective masks, gloves, utility belts and armed with their weapon loaded with simunition rounds which splatter with paint on impact.
The troopers were conducting a solo officer response to an active shooter exercise. The objective was to give individual officers experience in searching out, detecting and neutralizing the threat with as little hesitation as possible.
During the training event, fellow troopers role played as the active shooter while officers individually rotated into the training complex that was built like a maze. The officers cautiously navigated through the complex until the shooter was discovered.
Once the threat was spotted, officers engaged and subdued the assailant quickly. If necessary, officers conducted self-aid such as applying tourniquets on themselves if the scenario required. Afterwards, officers radioed in for support. More training methods were being implemented into police training to place officers in solo officer situations.
“They [state troopers] have seen the evolution of teaching concepts, over the years to now where we’re empowering solo officers to be able to go in and take care of these threats,” said Matt Haviland, a master trooper in the Indiana State Police and who has spent 13 years on a Special Weapons and Tactics team. Haviland, along with Indiana State Police Master Trooper Jason Hankins, orchestrated the training and critiqued each officer as they completed their iteration of the exercise.
State police officers were being trained in more solo officer exercises rather than team exercises. The officers work in rural areas and small towns, which will more likely place them in a solo-officer situation during their shifts. “More often times than not, active shooters are going to be responded to by a solo officer,” Haviland said.
The active shooter training was designed to train the officers’ instincts and prepare them for an active shooter situation, should it occur.
Officers came in prepared and executed the training using the knowledge they’ve obtained throughout their career in law enforcement.
Haviland was satisfied with what he observed.
“They’ve done excellent,” he said. “Actually this has been a building block of things that they get from the time that they’re in the academy.”
At the end of the training exercise, Haviland also expressed how pleased he was with the Muscatatuck training facility, “I love training here. It’s a great facility.”
The Indiana State Police officers left the Muscatatuck training facility wet from rain, clothes stained with paint and confident that they would react quickly and correctly in an active shooter situation.