Ever since the school shootings at Columbine and Sandy Hook, police departments around the country have included active shooter training at local schools.
However, Corpus Christi Independent School District Police have taken it a step further and include active shooter training onboard school buses as well.
A training session took place Friday at the old military plane hangars behind Cabaniss Field. Officers trained to approach a school bus, get on the bus and actually exchange fire with other officers playing the role of the active shooter.
"We're holding several different types of scenarios from active shooter in progress, where you have two or three people already dead," CCISD Police Sgt. Eric Shepperd said. "The officers, first two officers to respond, are engaging their target and eliminating their target as soon as possible."
"When the shots are being fired, they know every second counts. We don't have time to wait for responding officers or SWAT to suit up and make it. It's a very scary world we live in and we prepare for all different types of scenarios," Shepperd said. "We'll run them through 20 to 30 different types of scenarios. We'll do dry runs and then we'll do live fire. The officers are trained not only to deal with the shooter but to deal with other kids that are having nervous breakdowns or crying. They want to get up and run off. You're the one there to protect them. You don't see too many departments right now that are dealing with the first man and second man responder. You're not going to have time to wait for SWAT to get there. Every second counts. So you might enter the bus. You're the only officer there, the first one there. The shots are going off and you might be their only hope."
The officers actually do suffer gunshots when they do the training. They are done with soap bullets, and the soap bullets do leave marks on exposed skin when they are acting like they are exchanging fire with the bad guys and trying to keep children on a bus safe.