Special agent says there is no state active shooter training standard
By Amanda Castro – Reporter/Anchor
ORLANDO, Fla. – In light of recent active shooter events in Florida and across the nation, the special agent in charge at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Orlando office is planning to offer standardized training to agencies across Central Florida.
FDLE Special Agent in Charge Danny Banks said it is not a matter of if there will be another active shooter, but when.
“We haven’t seen the last one certainly in our nation, probably not even in our state,” Banks said.
Banks said there is currently no state law enforcement standard for responding to active shooter situations. Banks said many agencies conduct their own active shooter training but the problem is the training can be inconsistent.
That’s what the FDLE determined during the Parkland shooting response.
“Theoretically we want all of our police officers, no matter what kind of badge they wear, we want them all trained the same way so that when they respond, they’re all going in as a team, all with the same concept, all with the same training,” he said.
Before Banks leaves his position at FDLE, he is leading the efforts to offer standardized active shooter training to FDLE agents and law enforcement across Central Florida. The goal is to eventually offer the training across the state.
Banks said it is important to make this training as real as possible. Banks said the training will make sure all officers know how to respond during active shooter events, like the shooting at Pulse nightclub in 2016 and the Fiamma business in 2017.
“We shouldn’t have our police officers going into that environment and the first time they’re exposed to that is right there during the midst of it,” Banks said.
News 6 reached out to several local law enforcement agencies asking about their active shooter training.
- The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said all of its deputies are required to participate in active shooting training. The agency also works in conjunction with Orange County Fire Rescue with SAVE training, which stands for Swift Assisted Victim Extradition. The SAVE concept allows law enforcement to work with the fire department to treat or remove victims. OCSO said it also works closely with law enforcement in the region and beyond and shares the best practices.
- The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office requires all of its deputies to undergo active shooter training. It also has a joint training team that encompasses local municipalities.
- The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said every deputy gets active shooter training, both in the classroom and reality training. It also works with local agencies regarding how to respond to these emergencies.
- The Orlando Police Department said all of its officers receive active shooter training. OPD also collaborates with other agencies, as well as the Orlando Fire Department, on how to respond to these events. OPD said it is constantly talking to other agencies about best practices and learning from others.
- The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said all deputies undergo active shooter training, both in the classroom and scenario training. It also trains with Brevard County Fire Rescue so fire personnel can also respond to these events and provide lifesaving measures. BCSO also communicates with other local agencies on how to react, contact each other and how to work during these scenarios.
- The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said all of the school resource officers undergo active shooter training during their yearly cycle and the Juvenile Unit (SROs) does an additional day of training to work on active shooter response, both as an individual officer and as a team. Patrol deputies do not undergo active shooter training, but they undergo building entry training which is very similar and focuses on addressing the active threat. MCSO adds most of its deputies also have gone through SAVE training, which is conducted alongside fire rescue.
- There is no word on when the state could consider setting an active shooter standard, but Banks is hoping by offering this training every officer in Central Florida will be prepared.
“It should be a goal in the state of Florida that every single one of our police officers, everyone, no matter the agency you work for, goes through a standard level of training and preparedness,” Banks said.