LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's hard to imagine another mass shooting in Las Vegas after 1 October, but local law enforcement has to prepare for that possibility. Today, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department partnered with University Medical Center for an active shooter training exercise to gain valuable experience while training together.
Today's training was held inside the unoccupied women's clinic on Charleston Boulevard. To simulate the scenario, police safely fired blanks around the building while mock victims pretended to get hit.
"It’s allowing us to one, bridge the gap between some of the stuff we do as law enforcement officers in the community, but it also allows us to work on our tactics in certain facilities that we have not yet been into," said Gregory Anton, a Metro police officer.
"We are not just going to stand by. We are going to do it tactically. We are going to work with Metro. We are going to have our officers meet with them and actually get to the scene quicker than just standing there and waiting," said Louis Lepera, the director of public safety for U.M.C.
Metro officers teamed up with hospital security staff to secure the building, track down the shooter, and treat the wounded along the way. Each unit learned a little from the other.
"It allows us to, one, get to know the employees at U.M.C., get to know names to faces. But at the same time, it also allows our officers a good chunk of training in a foreign location being a building of this magnitude," said Anton.
"We have to understand what they are going to do and what we gotta do to help them to make it safe," added Lepera.
Both sides say they take the situation very seriously because while today's active shooter was fake, the threat of one in today's world is very real.
"Unfortunately, in today’s society, it’s what happens now. October 1 was an eye-opener for the whole state of Nevada," said Lepera.
"This is one of those things where we need to start implementing it because the world is changing and dynamics are changing and threats are changing and we need to be prepared for what we’re going into," said Anton.
Hospital staff says they try to practice these drills every two to three years.