Sheriff's Deputies Train For Worst-Case Scenarios In Downtown Lafayette

Dec 7, 2018

Instructors and volunteers needed clear postings in front of training areas while using a public building
Credit Chloe Weber / WBAA

Tippecanoe County Sheriff's deputies recently had an oppertunity for a different kind of active shooter training-- one in the heart of Lafayette's downtown.

Though the sound of the gunshots are fake, officers needed the lessons learned to be as real as possible.  

Volunteers line the hallways of the Tippecanoe County Building, acting as wounded victims, hostages or shooters.

Sergeant Lenoard Halascak says the training helps police prepare for worst-case scenarios by making faster judgements, like in one exercise when the shooter throws a fake explosive device, forcing officers to choose to either run through or hold back.

The excercises are deliberately chaotic, forcing the deputies to find order amid stress and confusion.

Shaun Collins, a volunteer from Lafayette, hoped to do his part to make the scenarios as hard as possible-- and to point out areas where officers may need to improve. 

Collins recounts, "I told you about how we had a sim gun sitting on the table in the apartment fight, 90% of them didn't see it because they were too focused on the two guys fighting."

Halascsak says limited manpower requires lots of planning time, which makes it rare to have more than one training in a year.