Mar 16, 2023

As St. Joseph police train for active shooter, they ask residents to prepare for worst

Posted Mar 16, 2023 5:23 PM


St. Joseph Post 

It's time, once again, for the St. Joseph Police Department to prepare for the worst.  

St. Joseph officers will gather at Central High School throughout next week for active-shooter training while the St. Joseph School District is on spring break 

Interim Chief Dave Hart says the department has a great partnership with the St. Joseph School District.  

"The school district is a tremendous partner with us, we have our SROs in the school, but it goes beyond that with that relationship," Hart tells KFEQ Hotline host Barry Birr. "And they work just really well with us in trying to be prepared and develop response plans so anytime we go to them and we say hey we'd like to do this training, they're all in 100%." 

Hart says operations for how police react during an active shooter have adapted over time. 

"It used to be you would hold outside the building and you would get SWAT there, and we saw with pretty disastrous results what that philosophy got us," Hart explains. "We have not trained that for a long time now, our people are trained to go in, to deal with the threat, and to save lives and that's our mission and what we expect of them and that's how we'll be training them." 

Officers will be gathered at Central starting at 1am on Monday and running until 10 or 11am. 

Drills could potentially also carry into the following week.  

Hart says if you get caught in a situation with an active shooter, try to get away, but if you can't, hide somewhere safe. 

"There's a difference between hiding behind a cardboard cutout and hiding behind a wall you know," Hart says. "So, you want someplace that's safe, someplace you can secure yourself where no one can get access to you." 

But Hart says if all else fails the proper thing to do is fight. 

"Take it to the person, you know don't go down soft," Hart explains. "We're not all big, strapping, hulking people, but when properly motivated you'd be amazed at what human beings are capable of."