WINSTON, Ore. -- Winston, Myrtle Creek and Sutherlin police departments were at Douglas High School Thursday for an active shooter training.
Shots rang out across the Douglas High School campus as law enforcement agencies ran through multiple scenarios in their training.
Corporal Mike Miller with the Winston Police Department said departments teamed up to work on communication and strengthen their bond, should they need to work together in a real-life incident.
“This gives us tactics, especially when combining all of our agencies,” Miller said. “Because if we go to, say, a shooting here at Douglas High School, Sutherlin Police Department is going to be down here and helping us. So, it’s best for us to train together, act together, and we can accomplish our goals better that way.”
Training Coordinator Sergeant Vaughn Rains with Sutherlin Police Department said they’re using tactics they learned from the Umpqua Community College shooting to enhance their response.
“Tactics are very important,” Rains said. “Today we’re utilizing lessons learned from UCC response and integrating a tactical medicine portion into this.”
Sutherlin Police Officer Todd Jochum said the most important take-away from today’s training for the officers is communication.
“It comes down to communication. We’ve got different guys from different agencies,” Jochum said. “Some of us are newer to the area than others, some of us have never seen each other before or worked together before, or much less come through an exercise like this before. So, it teaches you to step back a little bit and focus a little bit more on communication.”
Doing these trainings in schools, offices, and other buildings across the area gives each department a better understanding of the terrain and layouts they might face if called to a real incident.
“It presents all types of terrain challenges,” Rains said. “You see, you have long hallways, long rooms, large rooms, short rooms, you have stairways, and it’s all about angles and being able to protect yourself and get to that shooter as quickly as possible.”
It’s scenarios like this one that show that Douglas County law enforcement are continuing to work together, to make sure they’re able to effectively eliminate any possible threats that may happen in this community in the future.