HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Members of the Hattiesburg Police Department are spending time on the University of Southern Mississippi campus this week, but not in the classroom.
They are sharpening their skills in active shooter training, which is in one of their most advanced training sessions of the year.
"If we have an active shooter situation it's a good chance it's going to be in a situation where you do have a building a building of this nature, but whether it's a dormitory or whether it's something downtown, wherever, its going be a building, so this is a great tool for us," said Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler.
The department is making use of Roberts Hall on the Southern Miss campus.
"We continually train with this, all the officers, not just our specialty teams, but all the officers so that, because they are going to be the first person to arrive on scene they need to know what's going on," Traxler said.
Traxler added the scenarios will change throughout the week and vary from each shift.
"That's the thing about it. We want them to see that there are many different things that could happen, and you know, the big thing is, if you are involved in an active shooter situation, the best thing to do is hands up, let us know who you are, follow what the officers say at that time," Traxler said.
Officers are using simunition rounds during training to add to the realism of carrying their service weapon.
"This allows them to carry the closest thing to their actual weapon, it's a 9 mm gun, just like the one they carry, but it has a paint tip on it," Traxler said.
The department does advanced in-service training multiple times a year, varying from driving skills to other enhanced training methods.
"One of the main reasons this training is important is to keep our skills honed where we need to if a situation arises we are prepared for it," Traxler said.
The department will finish the training on the USM campus on Friday, according to Traxler.