Teenagers are volunteering to be victims to help police in school shooting drills

Dominic Smithers

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Teenagers are volunteering to be victims to help police in school shooting drills

Featured Image Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Teenagers have been volunteering to help police during school shooting drills.

It's been two months since a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and murdered 21 people.

In the aftermath, police officers who responded to the incident were heavily criticised for failing to act quickly enough and save the lives of over a dozen children and two teachers.

Footage emerged recently from the shooting, which showed police entering the school minutes after the killer.

However, as the shooter opened fire on classrooms full of pupils, armed police were seen standing at the opposite end of the corridor.

It took over 70 minutes for police to engage the killer.

Students pretended to be shooting victims. Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images
Students pretended to be shooting victims. Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

In a bid to improve the response of its officers, around 100 officers from Miami-Dade Schools Police took part in a shooting drill at Hialeah Senior High School.

The exercise also saw dozens of real students acting as victims, with the shooter firing blanks.

Police said they wanted to make it as realistic a scenario as possible.

Footage shared by the police force shows teenagers screaming in fear and pretending to be injured as police respond to the incident.

Police responded and tried to get the situation under control. Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images
Police responded and tried to get the situation under control. Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking about the drill, Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Edwin Lopez said it was about making sure staff and pupils are as safe as possible.

He said: "I want anyone who’s thinking of causing damage to any of our schools, to our kids, I want them to know exactly the level of force that we’re bringing to them.

"Our goal is to rattle the officers as much as possible, to present a realistic approach, and that involves students screaming, that involves fire alarms going off."

The shooter was eventually found by police and neutralised.

Mr Lopez added: "We want to challenge us as much as possible, so we pick complex high schools, older high schools that have been renovated, with challenging classrooms."

Some students pretended to be injured. Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images
Some students pretended to be injured. Credit: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Following the exercise, police held a briefing and analysed their performance.

After giving the all clear, officers held a post-drill briefing to assess their response - which was judged to have been a success.

Hialeah Mayor Esteban Bovo said she was satisfied with how the drill played out.

She said: "What we’ve seen in the last couple of these instances, unfortunately, is the hesitation.

"Waiting for someone to take control of the command structure for law enforcement, and I’m satisfied with what I heard and how they addressed it here."

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

Topics: News, US News, Police, Crime

Dominic Smithers
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