January 06. 2013 10:31PM

Bristol police train on active shooter scenario at school

Union Leader Correspondent

BRISTOL - With the help of state police and a few high school students, town police officers received special active shooter training Friday and Saturday to ensure they are prepared for situations like the mass killings at in Newtown, Conn., last month.

Bristol Police Sgt. Joseph Guerriero said his department asked state police trainers to conduct an active shooter training drill in light of the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, which left 27 dead in the school, including the shooter.

"Most of our officers have had active shooter training before, but in light of what happened, we asked the state police to give us further training," Guerriero said.

"We have three schools in our town," he said. "This was to help us prepare for a rapid response in an active shooter situation, so that we can neutralize a threat should a situation present itself in one of our schools or in a local business."

The training at Newfound Regional High School involved simulations of events similar in nature to the classrooms at Sandy Hook, he said. Several students volunteered to pose as students in some of the simulations, though Guerriero said he could not describe the trainings in detail.

"The students in our simulations were never in any danger of course," he said. "They were very helpful in giving us a real-life training model."

State police provide such training sessions for police agencies in the state when the training is requested, Guerriero said. Most of the town's 10-officer staff took part in the training, which involved video and live gunfire, though the officers were shooting blanks.

"None of the students were there when the shooting was going on, and there was no live ammunition used," he said.