APD officers pursue active shooter - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

APD officers pursue active shooter

By Len Kiese - bio | email

July 22, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Would you be protected if a shooter went on a rampage in a packed Albany building or event? The Albany Police Department is working to make sure you can answer yes to that question.

This week you may have seen some flashing lights and blocked off streets in Downtown Albany. That's officers making sure they're prepared to protect you in the time of an emergency.

It's after 8 p.m. on a rainy night in Albany. After a 911 call, every member of the Albany Police Department rushes to the Albany Civic Center. "Investigations, support services, training , SWAT," said Sgt. Gregory Elder with Albany Police.

That's because shots are fired from a door on the second level. "We understand that the mind of an active shooter is different than that of a bank robber. They're out there to hurt people," said Elder.

So they have to think and move quickly. "Stopping his aggression by any means that's lawful and necessary," said Elder.

Luckily too much won't be necessary this time.  It's all just a test of training skills for Albany Police just in case. "Everything is geared towards what's been going on in our country and in our nation with active shooters," said Elder.

Situations like Columbine or Virginia Tech can happen anywhere and those situations are unpredictable. "There is no set scenario," said Elder.

Officers will spend the week covering all the basics and trainers hope they walk away with a major lesson. "To understand the importance of the safety of the community and stopping this person from causing any more harm to anyone," said Elder.

One bad guy was caught and arrested during this week's practice. Officers hope the same scene will play out during the real thing.  

Active Shooter Training also consists of classroom instruction time. Every sworn officer is required to go through the training.

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