SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Training exercises are important, especially when you’re simulating an active shooter threat with a hostage situation.
Tuesday, the Savannah Police Department (SPD) joined forces with their SWAT team as well as Board of Education Officers to perform an active shooter and hostage situation training exercise at Windsor Forest High School.
“This is one of those things that everybody hopes will never happen but there’s been too many times where people say it’ll never happen here, it happens everywhere,” explained Captain George Gundich of SPD.
With the number of mass shootings that have taken place across the country recently, SPD wants to ensure that they’re prepared just in case everyone’s worst nightmare becomes a reality.
“The whole purpose of any active shooter situation is to push through the threat. Our job is sacrifice ourselves to save as many lives as possible,” Gundich said. “That’s the training that we got to keep current and need to keep modern utilizing every skill we have, every piece of equipment.”.
The unknown that comes with situations like these means it’s nearly impossible to know where the next active shooter situation may happen, or who might be the first to respond.
“As well trained as they are, they have to be introduced to working with other agencies more. We do that, but since the things going on right now in the country we’re pushing to do it more often, more active, get everybody involved,” Gundich said. “There’s a lot of new officers that haven’t done this training before so we’re trying to reintroduce and get everybody up to par.”
Moving forward, Gundich wants to perform more training exercises with different local agencies across the Coastal Empire to ensure that no matter where the next active shooter situation takes place, everyone’s following the same protocol.
“Those officers are intermingled in patrol and a number of other units so, the more of them we can get through these different buildings, they can take command and respond immediately to these situations from their normal duties and that’s what we’re really trying to push. The better trained they are, the better they help all the other shifts,” Gundich said.
SPD is planning to host more training exercises in the coming months.