Bay County Sheriff’s Office holds active shooter training

Bay County

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Sheriff’s office performed an active shooter training on Thursday at the St. Andrew’s School.

BCSO performed what they call a ‘scanning drill,’ a technique used to train officers for an active shooter situation if they can’t hear gunshots.

“They start scanning the rooms,” said BCSO Lieutenant, James Vestal. “They come down the hall, scan the room really quick there’s no threat they move on. Their job is to find that shooter.”

Vestal said they use a ‘Glock simunition’ gun which fires a 9 mm compressed paintball capsule at 300 feet per second.

“They get a little bit of negative reinforcement when you get shot with one and you’re not supposed to,” Vestal said.

BCSO makes a point to make these drills as realistic as possible so their agency is prepared for a real active shooter situation.

“We have to put the guys under stress,” Vestal said. “We have to put them in a real, life-like scenario and that’s the only way we’re going to gauge how they’re going to react.”

Vestal said they can control the environment, but there’s one thing they can’t control.

“Except the officer’s reaction — that’s all on them,” Vestal said.

Vestal said it’s important to focus on the officer’s reaction in a stressful situation to prevent a mistake in the field.

“There’s only two types of officers — trained or untrained,” Vestal said. “And we believe in training them, we believe in putting them in that stressed environment. I would rather them mess up here than out there so we can fix it here.”

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