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PMO conducts active shooter training

By Lance Cpl. Brendan Roethel | | October 28, 2013

Military Police Officers and civilian base police officers with the Provost Marshal’s Office aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort conducted active shooter training aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Oct. 15.


The threat of an active shooter has been brought to the forefront in the news and security in the past several years. The most recent of these incidents, the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C., left 14 dead and 12 wounded. The shooting is one of many violent acts impacting law enforcement agencies. As a result of these incidents, law enforcement officials are  conducting training to respond to an active shooter in order to neutralize a threat as quickly as possible and save lives.


“Training for active shooter scenarios began after the Columbine shooting incident,” said Fred Calawor, the training chief for PMO aboard the Air Station. “After that incident, law enforcement began to incorporate more active shooter training in their curriculum, learning from past incidents to constantly better our training.”


To make the training as realistic as possible, they used airsoft pistols, handcuffs, simulated OC spray and     fake electroshock weapons to suppress their target. The training teaches the Marines and officers to determine their course of action and respond while in a fast-paced and unpredictable situation.


“As law enforcement, we try to resolve situations before escalating to the use of deadly force,” said Sgt. Gregory Deputy, a patrol supervisor for PMO aboard the Air Station. “We make the scenarios stressful and intense, teaching them to think quickly on their feet so that we can make the scene safe, escort innocent bystanders away from danger and get medical personnel on scene to treat the wounded. We also try to recognize the intentions of the active shooter and respond accordingly to prevent casualties. It is our job to remove the threat and ensure the innocent are safe. Our training therefore benefits the Marines on base and those living on Laurel Bay more than just ourselves.”


For the Marines and civilians with PMO, training is continuous so they can constantly sharpen their skills and prepare themselves for the worst possible scenario. All MP’s and civilian officers are required to participate in this training, which makes them more prepared to face an active shooter and protect those that serve.