By Cory McCoy
More than 70 officers from over 25 law enforcement agencies, from as far away as Lufkin, participated in a “The FBI’s Law Enforcement Conference focused on active shooter and mass-killing situations,” according to a press release. Officers from local high schools were also in attendance.
The two day event, Jan. 9 and Jan. 10, took place at the TJC West Campus where officers ran through scenarios and learning exercises with Dallas FBI officials. Campus Police Chief Randy Melton and the and FBI Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Brent Chambers made themselves available for a brief Q&A Thursday morning.
Unlike the training exercises last summer, this consortium did not include live drills or reenactments. The officers were in a classroom style setting the first day and participated in table top scenarios the second, said Melton.
“I think it’s just a great opportunity for our officers,” said Melton.
“The training that took place yesterday and today is the result of federal legislation passed in 2012 to get federal agencies like the FBI more involved and connected to local law enforcement and fire agencies in the event of a mass killing or active shooter scenario. Twenty-six agencies and 74 officers participated. Local and Dallas based FBI agents led the training. This is the fifth one conducted and the first in East Texas,” said Fred Peters, director of public affairs and grant development at Tyler Junior College.
Peters said he was inclined to make the decision to host this conference because the consortium of Smith county public information officers had not set a regular meeting in two years. Peters believes that these networks are critically important in the event of a disaster-type scenario.
While students and faculty will notice no apparent changes on campus, they can rest easier knowing that the Campus Police and supporting area agencies have the most up to date training available in case the worst comes to pass.