Back to school for Santa Fe Police | People
A week after the midnight massacre at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, Santa Fe police officers spent the week undergoing training on how to respond to similar situations.
Santa Fe movie goers said this is yet another security measure that is helping to ease their fears.
Some told KOB Eyewitness News 4 that knowing police officers in their community have the proper training to respond in a moment's notice gives them more peace of mind.
Officers became temporary students at Ortiz Middle School, and got a first-hand lesson in how to rapidly respond to an active shooter inside a public building.
"We need to be prepared for this in Santa Fe because we never know - we could be the next town this happens to," SWAT training officer Jason Patty said.
Patty taught officers during the weeklong training in what to do if they're first on-scene before any backup arrives.
"Thirty seconds to a minute can mean the difference between five lives or ten lives," Patty said.
The training has taken on new meaning after last week's mass shooting.
"This training we had planned far before the incident in Aurora took place, now it just instills to us we have to approach things from a different angle," Santa Fe Police Captain Aric Wheeler said.
And movie goers couldn't agree more.
"Knowing our police officers are properly trained definitely makes me feel better and safer," one woman said. "You have no idea when it's going to happen, so for our police force to be trained in that way, I feel safer in the community."
SWAT officers routinely practice active shooter training, and all officers have basic training from the academy.
Training with employees at certain public buildings, schools and businesses are also periodically scheduled as requested.
"I've noticed a lot of our officers, especially in light of this incident last week, are more attentive and it brings more reality to this," Patty said.