Suburban Officers Train For Active Shooter Scenarios

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police officers in Oak Lawn trained for active shooter scenarios Tuesday, just days after a gunman killed six people in Santa Barbara, California. NBC 5's Chris Coffey reports. (Published Tuesday, May 27, 2014)

    Police officers in Oak Lawn trained for active shooter scenarios Tuesday, just days after a gunman killed six people in Santa Barbara, California.

    The situational drills were held at the old Tinley Park Mental Health facility, which stood in for a residential neighborhood.

    Participating officers loaded their pistols and rifles with simulated rounds, essentially "wax" bullets, and entered buildings to practice eliminating mass shooting threats.

    "As you've seen across the country recently, we've had so many active shooters that you can't wait for SWAT, so our officers need to be prepared," said Sgt. Robert Hon of the Oak Lawn Police Department.

    Officers also trained to remove wounded officers from live fire environments. And participating officers practiced "flanking" shooters in vehicles after they had been pulled over during traffic stops.

    "This training will help them so that when the time comes, they've already been here before," Hon said.

    The advanced training is called MACTAC, short for multi-assault counter terrorist action capabilities. The Oak Lawn Police Department provided the instructors and also funded the MACTAC exercise.

    The Illinois Tactical Officers Association estimates most police departments in northern Illinois have a basic concept and plan for active shooter situations. It is also estimated that about half of the police departments in Greater Chicago participate in advanced training, such as MACTAC.

    The Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management also offers active shooter training to all Cook County law enforcement agencies.