TURTLE CREEK, Pa. (KDKA)– No matter how much active shooter training police officers get, instructor Stephen Shaulis said it’s never enough. Shaulis walked KDKA through Thursday’s drill at St. Colman School in Turtle Creek.
“As they come down this hallway, they try to clear and try to see what they can from the hallway before making an entry. The act of killing is what drives their response into the room so it prevents more death and killing,” said Shaulis.
The sound of simulated gunshots were going off in the classroom during this drill as officers walked down the hallway.
“It’s just important for the officers to know how to react, how to respond, have appropriate training and also know the guy to the left and the lady to the right and how they’re responding as well,” said Senator Jay Costa.
The Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments active shooter program was made possible through grants and technical assistance provided by Senator Jay Costa. The first of its kind in this part of town. Officers from seven agencies east of Pittsburgh were part of the drill.
“These are the kinds of things we look at when doing the budget each year. Over the last two years, we gave $60 million in school safety. We want to try and create a baseline where things like this will be mandatory,” said Senator Jim Brewster.
“It’s unique in eastern suburbs where we have smaller depts. With part-time officers who don’t have the ability or funding to receive this type of training,” said Penn Hills Police Chief Howard Burton.
“By doing it as one group, we all respond with the same terminology, the same way of dealing with the incident, and it gives us continuity between the departments,” said Swissvale Police Chief Ellis Watson.