Training Prepares UNLV Police for Life and Death Scenarios

LAS VEGAS - UNLV officers went through live, active, shooter training Thursday.

The officers enter a student dorm, not knowing what to expect. They also don't know a mock shooter is hiding in one of the rooms.

The drill is designed to help ensure the safety of faculty, staff, and students. Even though it is just a drill, every step is critical, and heartbeats are racing.

UNLV officers tactically enter a dorm after reports of a gunman on campus and shots fired.

"Open door right! Open door right! Move," one trainee shouted.

As they quickly work their way down the hall, they secure each room - unaware of what awaits.

"Cleared moving forward - be advised I have information," one officer said.

Gun shots ring out.

"Advise radio. Suspect down. Suspect down," the officer shouted. In seconds, the scenario ends. The shooter attempts to fire at officers, and they take him down. Next, they discuss what went well and what didn't.

"We need to report casualties as we spot. What do we report as we find casualties? Where they're at, where they're at absolutely," said one trainee.

This training is one several UNLV officers will go through this year. It teaches them how to handle real-life situations that nobody hopes will ever strike the UNLV campus.

"We understand there are parents around this nation, and we have foreign students. They're trusting us to protect their children. Quite a few of us are fathers and mothers ourselves with our children going off to college. We try and keep that in mind to protect our student faculty and staff," said UNLV Police Sgt. William Queen.

UNLV says it also takes lessons from other tragedies like the shootings at Virginia Tech or the deadly shooting rampage in Norway. During Thursday's scenario, when the call comes in and the officers' hearts start pounding, they know where to keep their focus.

"I'm here to do a job first and foremost," UNLV Police Officer John Kong said. "My training is number one. So instead of thinking about all the casualties and everything, my job is to save lives when I come into a situation like this."

UNLV's 2011 fall semester begins August 29th.


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