Southern Ute law enforcers were trained on how to effectively handle an active shooter situation Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Ignacio High School.
The training took place after school hours, and consisted of officers going through numerous active shooting scenarios.
“It was the closest to [reality] as it could get,” Paul Colombe, Southern Ute Police Department criminal investigator said.
Southern Ute Police Lt. Chris Naranjo said it’s important a small community like Ignacio is prepared and has the proper training.
“Things have changed, and these kinds of shootings are happening in small towns now; it’s not just big cities.”
The training was sponsored by Homeland Security and was conducted by the Louisiana State University’s National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, Southern Ute Police Department Chief Raymond Coriz said.
The training focused on “training the trainer,” he said.
Coriz mentioned that not all of his staff is LASER certified, Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response, but that is the ultimate goal of the department.
“About 80 percent of our staff attended the training,” he said. “The goal was to get these [individuals] trained as a trainers, so they are capable of training others.”
Those who participated in the training were the Southern Ute Police Department, Southern Ute Rangers, Southern Ute Detention officers, Southern Ute Division of Gaming and the Ignacio Police.
“We all trained together and it helped us. Because if something ever does happen we have to be able to rely on each other … we got to build camaraderie,” Naranjo said.
According to Naranjo SUPD has gone under trainings before, but none close to this caliber.
Though none of the officers interviewed have ever been involved in a real active shooter situation, they all feel the training has prepared them to do so.
“Absolutely we can handle it,” Coriz said.