Toyota Center hosts active shooter training

Toyota Center hosts active shooter training

Law enforcement agencies spent the day in Kennewick training for an active shooter situation Thursday.

Inside Toyota Center Richland Police Department community volunteer Cheryl Billings was at the front line of a dynamic active shooter drill.

“Hands, hands, hands up!” Benton County law enforcement officials shouted as they entered a room full of role playing hostages.

The goal of the training is to make it as real as possible.

“Everybody on the ground, on your stomachs,” Benton County deputies shouted at role playing hostages.

Deputies were on a mission to secure the hostages and subdue the shooter using paintball guns.

“We have several innocents in the same room we’re downstairs and one suspect is down with a gunshot,” One Benton County Deputy said over his walkie talkie.

Ten to thirty officers spread throughout the building preparing to make contact with a shooter at any moment.

“It just felt real,” Richland Police Department volunteer Cheryl Billings said.

Billings was one of the hostage role players helping train local law enforcement on how to approach these situations.

While interim Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher continues to do his best to make sure all jurisdictions participating in the drill are on the same page.

“We have West Richland and Prosser with us today. You’ll see a lot of tactics, communication in all of this and that’s the whole purpose of the training is to get everybody doing the same thing,”Benton County Interim Sheriff Jerry Hatcher said.

Deputies also conduct control and command post operations while securing a perimeter.

“So we’re going to check the bottom!” Benton County deputies shouted.

Groups carry out primary and secondary searches to create different scenarios for each officer to deal with.

“I had a wounded leg,” Richland Police Department volunteer Cheryl Billings said.

Deputies also using cue cards to identify the simulated injuries so that when paramedics come in they can actually address the injury.

“Then they’ll be planning an egress to get them out of here,” Hatcher said.

Helping to get volunteers like Billings to safety.

“They did a fantastic job,” Billings said.

The training helped make everyone more prepared for an active shooter situation.

“It’s good for the community and it’s good for us to know what’s going on,” Billings concluded.

Every year Benton County conducts a series of different trainings for law enforcement, but this month it’s all about active shooter training.

If you would like to volunteer to help out with these trainings like Cherly Billings just contact one of your local agencies.