Some state troopers were in class before students returned to school. Dozens were learning how to respond to an active school sh00ting at Harvard H. Ellis Technical School in Killingly. State troopers in protective gear dashed down the halls into a complete pupils classroom.
“Everything combined together with the sounds, the role players, getting that stress level up so that if they were to respond to an incident like this, their body, mind, and brain have already done this before,” Connecticut State Police Sgt. Christine Jeltema said.
Wednesday marked the end of three days of training. Troopers were required to apply their newly acquired abilities and tactics in various settings. These included clearing a building (hallways and classrooms) and dealing with a shooter directly.
According to Jeltema, between 20 and 30 troopers participated in the training. The simulation also included teens from a local criminal justice program.
“This may be some refresher for some younger troopers because this is something they’re learning in the academy. However, some of our constables have not been fully trained in this,” said Sgt. Jeltema.
Since 2016, CSP’s Emergency Services Unit has hosted the program and taught almost 8,000 people in Connecticut in places of worship, businesses, and other schools.
Parents are concerned about gun violence as the start of the school year approaches. Angela Howard of Thompson is a mother of three with two elementary-aged children.
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“Safety is a concern, especially with all the stuff going on in the world,” Thompson added. “It’s scary, especially with small children; you want to shield them from what’s going on, but you also have to be realistic and prepared for whatever may happen.”
She wants more extraordinary security measures to be in place at her children’s school. Another parent with a fourth-grade son expressed gratitude for the effort to teach police officers and keep communities safe.
“They have to do these drills, you know. They must be aware of what is going on to be prepared for any tragedy at any school,” said Killingly resident Giddel Salazar.
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