BPD goes to the classroom, lierally
A year ago, the Burleson Police Department trained for the worst case scenario of an armed shooter in a school.
The department did even more training two weeks ago, with four days of training at three schools inside the Burleson city limits.
“This is the second year that we have done practical exercises,” Burleson Police Chief Billy Cordell said.
Last year, the department held exercises at Centennial High School. This year, they worked on scenarios at North Joshua Elementary, which is part of the Joshua ISD, Kerr Middle School and Burleson High School.
“We are expanding that this year so that the officers are familiar with the layouts at different schools,” Cordell said. “We also wanted them to be familiar with some of the administrators and just get in some work on scenarios.”
The department trained at North Joshua because the school is inside the city limits meaning the Burleson Police Department would be the primary responders at that location.
Joining the BPD during the exercises were other law enforcement agencies from the county.
“We just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page,” Cordell said.
The scenarios ranged from armed shooters that needed to be neutralized, to possible suicides by people who had entered the school.
Unlike last year, the participants used simulated ammunition, similar to paint balls, in the training exercises.
Teachers from each school volunteered to participate in the drills and help with the scenarios.
The simulations were held during a four-day period so that all the officers in the department could participate.
“We can’t shut down the department and run everyone through in one day so we did things over four days,” Cordell said. “We are still answering calls and doing other things. We also opened the training up for other agencies that might respond with us.”
Each day, the officers did six hours of classroom work in the morning and followed that up with two hours of practical training.
After each exercise, observers held debriefing where they analyzed what the participants did right or wrong.
“We can talk power point all day long about how to do things,” Cordell said. “But to come here and put that training into practical use is an excellent learning tool.”