Hillsborough County Deputies train for active shooter ahead of new school year

FISHHAWK, Fla. — It's heart-pounding training for Hillsborough County Deputies as they prepare for an active shooter.  

All week, deputies went through different drills to help prepare them for Friday's training. They go through 4 realistic scenarios where they must work alone and in a group to identify the threat and secure it quickly.

Teen actors are painted with fake blood and injuries so deputies really feel like they are seeing victims. 

 

 

 

They start out in the administration building of Newsome High school, where they hear gunshots inside. Then they move to the breezeway where they find several victims lying in the hallway. The third scenario is in the gym and locker room where the neutralize three shooters and the last scene is in the lunch room.

Major Ciro Michael Dominguez, with the Hillsborough County Training Division, says they must make split-second decisions. 

"Good guy, bad guy, this is a threat, that's not a threat,” he said. "In the world that we live in today, being prepared for the worst case scenario is part of our duties.”

The deputies main goal is to find the shooter before they tend to any victims. Fire medics from the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue are also trained with the SWAT team, so they can be apart of the initial response.

 

 

 

They help find the shooter and then tend to the victims immediately, versus waiting until they get outside. 

“When they get activated, they're attached to the sheriff swat team and they're able to go into the hot zone and operate as an intricate part of that team,” said Robert Collins, the HCFR Chief of Special Operations.

The training also helps them learn how to respond to an unruly student or a fight. 

"Obviously I experience the gamut there,” said Michelle Williams, the school resource deputy at Wharton High school.

She has dealt with many fights there. She’s tough on the kids because she cares. 

 

 

 

“It's not like in the street, you arrest them and you never see them again. I get to follow up with them and make sure they are progressing,” she said. “Our children are our most precious resource."

She says the role of a school resource deputy is more important right now than ever before and says these scenarios prepare them for the worst. 

This type of training is done annually, but similar drills are done throughout the year. 

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