State patrol Trooper Erik Lofland, acting as an assailant, helps train area law enforcement officers to respond to hostile shooting situations.
The Ohio Highway Patrol has established a statewide program to train law enforcement officers on how to respond to shooter situations like the Virginia Tech shootings.
The program has been in session at Bowling Green State University since June 18, ending yesterday, and was held during the same period in Youngstown and Chillicothe.
It is scheduled to start July 9 at the University of Toledo.
Training consists of a four-hour class in which officers learn defensive tactics and engage in role-playing situations, which instructors say officers can use to mitigate a situation with a shooter.
The classes are offered twice a day.
Bowling Green police Patrolman Matt Robinson steps over a dead bystander during a training exercise, above, while Sgt. Will Ogden of the Ohio Highway Patrol s Findlay post provides cover behind other law enforcement officers.
"It's an invaluable asset to the agencies," said patrol Sgt. Mike Kemmer, an instructor at the BGSU program. "It's free and much-needed training."
The Ohio State Patrol seeks to train most of the law enforcement officers in the state, and integrate agencies so they will be prepared for any kind of shooting.
In the last two weeks, Sergeant Kemmer said the patrol has trained about 200 officers at BGSU, including those from the Wood County Sheriff's Office, BGSU police, and University of Toledo police.
Statewide, he estimated that over 1,000 officers have taken the training class.
The program will most likely run again next summer, Sergeant Kemmer said.
The patrol s special response team was training area police yesterday at Bowling Green State University in tactics that could be useful in a Virginia Tech-type situation.
Officers need to practice and refresh the training gained from the single session to retain the knowledge and confidence to deal with shooter situations, he said.
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