RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Shootings in public places, such as schools, malls or businesses have recently made national news. We have seen no community, including our own, is immune from this type of tragedy in light of the recent shooting at Sparks Middle School. Preparing for the unthinkable is something law enforcement officers say they must do to be ready.
A training exercise was played out today involving members of both the Reno Police Department and Washoe County's SWAT and Hostage Negotiation teams, Consolidation Bomb Squad, REMSA and regional dispatch.
The scenario started in the afternoon on a staged report of gunfire at a private school in Reno. Officers who responded learned on the scene there could be as many as four suspects, potentially more than one gunman and possible hostages. They later learned there was at least one death and multiple injuries. As they were sizing up and securing the scene, the training exercise took another twist. Officers learned there was another public shooting at a Reno business at a different location. Not only would they have to deal with the situation at the school, but this exercise would stretch their resources and challenge them as the second shooting was related to the first.
Lt. Scott Dugan, SWAT Team Commander for the Reno Police Department said, "It is important we train for these types of situations. The purpose of this is to ensure the safety of the public. Our goal is to learn."
Dugan said this type of training has been done annually by area law enforcement for the past four to five years. While this training did not include law enforcement officers with the Sparks Police Department this time, Dugan said the training is ongoing. He said Sparks has participated in the past and would participate in future trainings as all area agencies train together because inter-agency cooperation and communication is essential in responding to these types of situations.