Pender County law enforcement agencies take part in month-long active shooter training

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies in the county are undergoing an active shooter training, practicing a situational scenario at a high school in Rocky Point.

An active school shooter was one of the many scenarios the Pender County Sheriff’s Office focused on in its month-long training with all of the enforcement agencies in the county.

The training session was held at Heide Trask High School, and included a classroom session and a situational scenario, where officers had to stop an active shooter in the school and apprehend them.

“This can be anywhere from a grocery store, movie theater, any type of area where you’d have a mass gathering of people that would be susceptible to something like this. It’s unfortunate that these types of incidents are occurring and occurring more frequently, but we realize as responders those parents are concerned about their child’s safety. We’re concerned about their child’s safety. Our job, point-blank is to get there and stop that shooter, by whatever means necessary, to prevent additional life from being lost,” said Captain James Rowell with Pender County Sheriff’s Office.

Captain James Rowell with Pender County Sheriff’s Office says the increased number of active shooting incidents was highlighted in the training.

“I wish I can tell you times are getting better, and these things aren’t happening, but just statistically from the lesson plan that we’re using,–there’s been a 96% increase in the last 4 years just from 2017 to 2021 of events like this taking place,” said Capt. Rowell.

Simunition rounds, a non-lethal training ammunition were used by the “suspect” and officers in the training scenario.

Each scenario played out differently, depicting multiple situations that could happen in real life.

“It’s always good to bring folks in that we don’t typically work with on a daily basis to be able to practice these things that are —that are crucial decisions that are made, -you know spilt-second decisions, and if the first time that you’re having to think about it is when it’s actually happening, everybody you know, stand’s to fail from that. So, it’s good that we are practicing as a larger group, and working together. You know, hopefully we don’t ever have to employ, but we will be ready if we do,” said Rowell.

Around 125 officers from law enforcement agencies across Pender County will have completed the training by the end of next week.

 

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