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Chandler police, fire to host active shooter training event for public

The Chandler police and fire departments are planning to host an active shooter response training event for the public this Saturday.
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:19 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Because of what happened in Uvalde, Texas, and other mass shootings around the country this year, one Valley city is trying to reassure the community that they’re prepared. The Chandler Police Department and the Chandler Fire Department are teaming up to host a community active shooter event this Saturday. They hope to try and get everyone up to speed on what to do in a mass shooting situation and what protocols they can expect from law enforcement to keep people, especially kids, safe.

This is different because we usually see active shooter training within departments but never usually with the public. The departments said it was community concern that prompted them to do this. Trisha Lucas’ 17-year-old son volunteered at church camp a couple of weeks ago, and this is now a reality. “I didn’t even think about it until my son came home and said, ‘Oh, there were two officers there with bulletproof vests,’ and I said, ‘It’s kind of scary to think you have to have that at church camp,’ but I was thankful,” Lucas said.

Parents are constantly concerned about mass shootings, whether in grocery stores, movie theaters, or schools like in Uvalde. “Unfortunately, it’s something we think about every single day now,” said Lucas. “It’s really given me quite a bit of anxiety only because, you know, we trust our police officer and we trust law enforcement because they did take that oath,” said Katey McPherson, a parent and teen safety advocate.

Lucas and McPherson are two Chandler parents who are commending their public safety officers for taking a proactive approach. With officials continuing to point to a failed response by Uvalde officers during that shooting, Arizona parents want some reassurance. Chandler police and Chandler fire are now doing something about it, hosting a joint active shooter response community event Saturday after they said recent tragic events prompted questions from community members. “I think it’s 100% the right thing to do,” said McPherson.

The event will include response protocol from police and fire, federal guidelines, how to prepare your children, and how to organize community members, like parents and teachers, to be ready for a scenario like this.

McPherson deals with these agencies often in her advocacy work in teen safety and said the more training to get every person in the city on the same page, the better. “In crisis, you rise to the lowest level of your training and so training, training, training for all of us: parents, community, faith leaders, businesses and schools has to be refreshed often,” McPherson said.

“There’s a lot more work that needs to be done but this is a good start,” said Lucas. Members from a Chandler police training unit and the SWAT team will teach some of these courses. If you want to attend, it’s completely free and goes from 10 a.m. to noon at the Chandler Public Safety Training Center.