• WATCH: An inside look at Ocala's active shooter training

    By: Myrt Price


    OCALA, Fla. - The Ocala Police Department took over New Leaf Elementary School, which is closed for spring break, to train for how to respond to an active shooting.

    During the training, officers rushed to the sounds of gunfire, searching for the bad guy with the gun.

    Officers, either alone or sometimes with a partner, learned how to respond to an active shooter on a school campus.

    "We're basically preparing officers to encounter different types of stimuli, whether it's visual or audible, as well as students running at them,” said Sgt. Matthew Bos. “It could be fire alarms going off, smoke the sounds of gunfire."

    The police department conducts active shooter training sessions on a regular basis, but in the wake of the Parkland shooting, school safety has been on the front burner.

    "That does bring about a little bit more emphasis on why we’re doing this,” said Bos. “It reminds us of the victims who lost their lives and it reassures us what our role is here; to prevent that from happening again."

    At some points in the training, officers were able to take out the threat and keep others from being targeted.

    But in one scenario, officers ended up firing at each other.

    "We're looking for guns and we have to be able to recognize whether they're an officer, whether they're on duty or off-duty, whether they're from a different agency," said Bos.

    After each scenario, the training officers would critique the exercise and let everyone know what went well and what needs work.

    "We hope we never have to use it any of this kind of training, but if we do we're prepared for it,” said Bos. 

    WATCH: Active shooter training 

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