Training For School Shootings in Kennewick - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Training For School Shootings in Kennewick

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Police at Horse Heaven Hills Middle School had their guns drawn as they charged into the school.

     Viewers called us wondering what was happening and worrying about the officer's safety. But, it turns out, everyone is fine. This February, police are acting out real-life situations where a shooter is inside a school, mall, or another crowded building. 

   One of Thursday's scenarios had one officer playing a shooter, with students screaming in the hallway. Then officers charged the shooter, trying to eliminate the threat as soon as possible.

Police say in these types of situations there is no time to wait because that could mean a much greater loss of life.

Kennewick Police's Corporal Todd Dronen says, "The entire shooting occurs within a few moments and we don't have the luxury of a half an hour to stage and contain and make entry. We have to immediately engage the threat."

    In Thursday's scenarios, police used what is called Simunition, which is like a paint ball in a bullet shape. They plan to continue the training throughout February, teaching a few officers at a time. Besides Kennewick Police, officers from a number of Tri-Cities law enforcement agencies will also be getting involved.