Around a dozen police cars are parked at Jonesboro High School this week. Officers are using the space for advanced law enforcement rapid response training, where they receive force and scenario based training to take out an active shooter threat.
“They’re taking us through all those movements and showing us how to move as a team. Also showing us how to move as a one person,” said Lieutenant Perry Jennings of Mississippi County.
The alert training is an FBI standard, which also includes close-range shooting with sim-unition rounds. Officers work as a unit to remove hostile situations, and free people that are barricaded, or taken as a hostage.
“If you’re out in a country area where a school is, you’re gonna have to wait for your backup to come. So you have to take action...right then,” said Jennings.
The rapid response training is for all officers, from two days to twenty years on the job. Sergeant Lyle Waterworth says it not only allows them to navigate schools like Jonesboro High, but improve their communication skills with fellow officers, while working in a high-pressure environment.
“It gets officers to a position where they might have to think a little harder. Their breathing changes.”
The overall goal is providing peace of mind for civilians.
“If you just had a teacher that needed help…with a sick student, or a student that’s causing problems, we’re here to help,” added Waterworth.
The alert training is provided at no-cost, courtesy of over fifty-six million dollars in federal grant funding.