Johnson County agencies training together in active shooter drills

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MISSION, Kan. -- Recent active shooter incidents have agencies on alert, and working to better prepare. Multiple agencies did so in historic fashion on Tuesday.

They're from northeast Johnson County, and it’s the largest number of Johnson County agencies training together in one drill ever.

While Johnson County law enforcement agencies and fire departments have been training to handle active shooters for years, recent incidents, such as the one in Hesston, Kan., are evaluated for new lessons to learn.

“In the past, law enforcement would rush into a scenario, and they would handle the bad guy, when everything was all done and completely safe, then they would wave in the firefighters,” said Capt. Brad Robbins with the Leawood Police Department,” But we're learning from past events that we can't do that anymore, people are suffering and dying.”

“How we're changing that is, police departments going in and locking down the place, maybe get the shooter in the position where they're done shooting or have taken care of the threat, and then we're going right in behind them,” Jeff Scott, the Deputy Chief For Consolidated Fire District #2, added.

Northeast Johnson County agencies are revamping their active shooter program to get firefighters in behind police much quicker to help save more lives.

“Our extent of training was being maybe together on an accident scene, where they're there, and we're there, or a fire scene, but this is the first time that we've really integrated training together,” Scott said.

“Building some comradery , communication, and trust between the two different entities, all the different entities, to be able to respond to an event like this,” Robbins added.

They said they also need to keep up and make sure their training is current.

“Things are evolving, unfortunately, the bad guys, their tactics are evolving,” said Officer Mark Chudik with the Leawood Police Department.

The agencies were running basic drills to form relationships, build trust, and learn to work together before something big happens.

“Once you've done it before, then it's second nature, because any type of situation like this is going to be chaotic, and people are going to look to us to bring order to the chaos, but before we can do that, we have to prepare ourselves for it, and that's what today's all about,” Robbins said.

The agencies here said they hope they never have to use this training, but if they do, they said they’ll be prepared.

Captain Robbins said about a dozen different agencies worked hand-in-hand in this training.

He said it's nearly impossible for one agency to have enough bodies to handle this type of serious, stressful situation, so the goal is, by end of summer, all Johnson County agencies have the chance to train together.