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Valley law enforcement agencies practice for active shooter situations

Valley law enforcement agencies practice for active shooter situations

Law enforcement officers from agencies all across Southern Nevada partnered up for an active shooter simulation training at the Parole and Probation building in Downtown Las Vegas.

The scenario of the simulation: multiple active shooters and multiple casualties inside the building.

“You have to practice like it’s for real,” Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Smaka said.

Smaka explained that active shooter situations can happen anywhere, a tragic reality that the Las Vegas community knows all too well. It happened here once, and it could happen again, said Smaka.

“Unfortunately, it’s not if, but when that scenario hits us again,” Smaka said. “We are going to answer that call to the best of our ability and we’re going to have the training and tactics in place.”

Some of the agencies involved on Thursday included NHP, LVMPD, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, the FBI, Department of Public Safety, and the Parole & Probation teams. However, several other divisions of law enforcement were involved as well. This cross-agency collaboration is an important part of being better prepared for a future situation, according to Smaka.

“You’re not going to have one agency responding,” he said. “It’s going to be every agency in the city coming together, working together, and we all have to know what each other are doing.”

Other than practicing together to maintain a level of readiness, in case of an active shooter situation arising, Smaka explained that post-One October training helps law enforcement improve upon what worked well on the night of the tragedy, and what needs work.

“It really is a training for everybody,” he said. “From the officers on the ground to the command staff, to civilian personnel and the dispatchers.”

One of the most important aspects of the response is intra-agency communication, according to Smaka.

“Communication. You have multiple agencies working together, and what I personally found that night was that you have a lot of information come across the different channels from the different agencies,” he said. “We are making ourselves better. We’re correcting anything that might have been considered a deficiency.”

Parole and Probation Sergeant Chris Clifton is on the same page as the NHP trooper.

“It’s very important that we’re all on the same page,” Clifton said. “So, in an event like this, I could be in a group with Metro, and we are all trained in the exact same way to do the exact same thing.”

Smaka says they do these kinds of training to remain proactive, which is something he says is incredibly important to people in the valley’s law enforcement community.

“All of these officers, medical personnel, dispatchers, we’re all members of this community. We’re your brothers, we’re your sons, your wives, neighbors,” Smaka said. “This community is every bit a part of us as it is to anyone. We take this very seriously, and we are committed to answering that call when the call arises.”

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