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INSIDE ACCESS: DeSoto County first responders team up for active shooter drill

Law enforcement implemented scenarios from prior school shootings.
Active shooter training in Arcadia
Posted at 8:14 AM, Jun 21, 2024

ARCADIA, Fla. — Recent school shootings that have gripped the nation are causing law enforcement to better equip themselves when a shooter opens fire.

Arcadia Community Correspondent Victoria Scott visited Memorial Elementary School where local law enforcement agencies and fire rescue personnel wrapped up an active shooter training Thursday.

Active shooter training in Arcadia

She experienced some training scenarios that could unfold in a real-life school shooting.

One scenario included a team of officers looking for a suspect after an off-duty officer came across an active shooter.

DeSoto County Active Shooter Training
Law enforcement from DeSoto County take part in active shooter training on Thursday

The Arcadia Police Department teamed up with the DeSoto County Sheriff's Office for the training.

The Cadre Consulting Group from Broward County helped put it together.

"There are different incidents from across the country – Uvalde, Parkland, other very major incidents," said Co-founder of Cadre Consulting Group Christopher Hickox. "There's also been many mistakes made by law enforcement."

So, the goal for law enforcement is to turn those mistakes into an opportunity to get better prepared.

"We take those lessons learned, and we apply them to our scenarios," Hickox told Scott. "We want to improve and learn from others' mistakes."

They also want to keep pushing to make the training better.

So, this time around, officers and deputies trained with DeSoto County Fire Rescue.

"Law enforcement just can't do it by themselves," Hickox said. "We need fire rescue in there."

DeSoto County Active Shooter Training
Law enforcement from DeSoto County take part in active shooter training on Thursday

Hickox told Scott it's overwhelming for law enforcement to deal with a real-life situation like this by themselves.

Fire fighters and paramedics are already trained to deal with wounded people and mass casualty events.

Arcadia Police Capt. Kevin Joens told Scott it's crucial for both teams to train on what they do best while they learn to work together.

"In the event we have an active shooter in our community, the time to come together and try to accomplish a mission isn't then."

It's now.

"Regardless of how much you train, you never really train enough," said Co-founder of Cadre Consulting Group Richard Saito.