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Crossroads law enforcement agencies are trained to meet active shooter situations

By ALLISON MILES
July 20, 2012 at 2:20 a.m.


In the wake of a Friday morning shooting that left at least 12 people dead and 58 injured in Colorado, Crossroads law enforcement agencies said they have plans in place to face such a situation.

Every critical incident presents its own set of challenges and responses, Sgt. Eline Moya, with the Victoria Police Department, said in an email. Officers are trained to respond to active shooter situations, she said, but the police department does not publicly discuss tactical responses.

"To do so could increase the danger to law enforcement officers and the public they are sworn to protect," she said in the email.

Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor said deputies also undergo extensive training. The 1999 Columbine school shooting was an unfortunate lesson learned, he said, and training programs picked up nationwide.

Law enforcement must be able to respond to a wide range of situations, he said, noting Colorado personnel faced both an "active shooter" situation and explosives hidden throughout the alleged shooter's apartment.

It's all about preparedness, O'Connor said.

"This is stuff law enforcement has to do in a split second," he said. "And the way you do that is muscle memory. You practice, you practice, you prepare and practice. And you hope you never use it."

He said the sheriff's office works with the police department and other agencies, and runs drills in a variety of places - apartment complexes, hospitals, schools and more.

"I am very confident," O'Connor said. "Lord help us if it ever happens, but I'm very confident we have extremely capable, professional personnel in Victoria and the surrounding area."

O'Connor encouraged Crossroads residents to remain vigilant and report anyone making threatening statements, whether in person, through social media or otherwise, by calling 911.

"Let us know," he said. "Do not regard it as trivial. Let us make those decisions."

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