'Survival is the ultimate goal': Deputies train to deal with active shooters
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - So if shots were fired in your child's school, is there a plan to keep your kids safe until the good guys get there? The Pima County Sheriff's Department wants to make sure there is.
"It could happen anywhere," said captain Don Kester.
Even here outside a grocery store in Tucson, but most recently it was Connecticut, inside Sandy Hook Elementary. Adam Lanza was the active shooter.
"I'm tired of these incidents happening," Kester said. "We know we can't stop them all the time, but we want people to be able to help themselves to reduce the number of dead and injured. At some point, something has to change."
The reality is it takes minutes for law enforcement to show up, but those minutes are critical. What you do during that time, could mean the difference between life and death. And it's those lessons that the Pima County Sheriff's Department wants to teach other agencies, so they in turn can teach you.
"There are things they can do," Kester said. "It might not always be pretty. They might get injured. People might be killed."
But your odds of survival increase, if you respond. Every situation is different. Law enforcement says you could run from the gunman. You could hide or lock down. And if warranted, possibly even intervene. Things like fire extinguishers and everyday objects can be weapons that keep you alive.
9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked law enforcement if they think schools and businesses have an appropriate plan or do most still need to beef up security? Sergeant Dave Azueulo with the Tucson Police Department, who attended the training, said, "Some schools and some businesses are well prepared. Others haven't given it as much thought as they probably could."
The Sheriff's Department says it's important for schools and businesses to devise a plan and practice it often. They say it can make a huge difference. And they have the data to back it up. Schools started doing fire drills 25 years ago, since then, no child has ever died in a fire inside a school. But in that same time, 300 U.S. children have died as a result of school shootings.