Bay County Officers Go Through Active Shooter Training at Local School

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The FBI says in 2016 and 2017, 50 shooting in the U.S. were active shooter incidents. Friday, several bay county officers participated in active shooter training. 

"We tell them every time you hear a gun shot that's a child loosing their life," said James Vestal, Bay County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant. 

Officers have been training for active shooters at local schools for the past nine years. 

"After every major incident they do studies and they talk to people and the training that was in place of they can improve it, and anything constant is change," said Vestal.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office, Lynn Haven Police, Bay County EMS and Fire Department went through the training together. Officers aren't given the scenario ahead of time, so it will be more realistic.


Lieutenant Vestal said the actions of the first two men on scene are critical. He said Thursdays active shooter training was a scenario similar to what happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

"Gunshot goes off down the hall and then you here children screaming, that deputies got to respond, he's got to check doors and stuff as he goes down but he has to get to that room as fast as he can," said Lieutenant Vestal.

Sheriff Tommy Ford said the best way to be ready, is to put officers through a training session that is as close to real life as possible.

"We can't assume those kind of things are going to happen somewhere else, they could very well happen here just like the briar wood incident," said Sheriff Ford.


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