Amid High School Shooting, UMD Hosts Training for Police Officers

By KBJR News 1

June 11, 2014 Updated Jun 11, 2014 at 12:01 AM CDT

Duluth, Minn. (NNCNow.com) --- The high school shooting in Oregon marks the third occurrence of gun violence to shake up an academic campus in less than three weeks.

On Tuesday, University of Minnesota Duluth hosted a training for Minnesota police officers, in case this type of outbreak were to occur in Duluth.

The biggest threat to a University – or any school – is an active threat incident, according to UMD Police Officer Jake Willis.

Willis, along with two other certified instructors, have been hosting trainings at UMD for area police officers.

The trainings are geared to prepare police officers in case a shooting were to occur on a campus or workplace in their community.

In the trainings, the officers weaved through crowds of volunteers looking for designated threats.

The training organizers said the series will help officers respond to events like the Virginia Tech shooting or the high shooting in that occurred in Oregon Tuesday.

Officer Willis said tactics to neutralize active threats have changed.

In March, UMD police officers were called to an incident where one person brought an airsoft gun to campus.

"From the time the call was dispatched to the time he arrived was two and a half minutes," Willis said. "That's exactly what we are training here for. We are trying to respond quickly and stop the threat. In that case it happened to be an airsoft gun, but had it been an actual threat or escalated to violence, he was there very quickly."

Tuesday's class consisted of officers from Carlton and St. Louis County police departments.

There are still seats available for police officers in the July/August trainings.

Law enforcement says if you find yourself in an active threat incident such as a shooting, you should immediately evacuate the premises if it is safe.

If it is not safe to evacuate, then you should immediately find refuge and remain there until the threat is neutralized.

Nick Minock