Jacksonville police, other law officers train for mass shootings

Active shooter training becomes common in many cities

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Recent mass shootings have shocked many across the nation, especially with the latest tragedies in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.

News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said while many police departments are increasing patrols, there isn’t a lot you can do beyond that. However, active shooter training has become a reality for many police agencies, schools and private businesses.

"There has been a lot of training going on both for law enforcement, as well as citizens with regards to (an) active shooter. It is still going on," Jefferson said. "I conduct that kind of training myself with corporations and places that we don’t really think about, churches and small businesses." 

Jefferson said beyond the training, police agencies are reactive. He applauds the Ohio officers who were on the scene within moments.

The mayor in Dayton has said hundreds could have been killed if not for the quick response.

Jefferson said the shooters he’s studied are looking for bigger crowds, knowing that if they get off enough shots, they will hit someone. 

Authorities have not said whether the gunman in Ohio acted as a copycat following the shooting in Texas, but Jefferson says the copycat effect is a frightening reality and something he hopes will come to an end.

"We don’t know who is watching this massacre and thinking in their mind, 'I’m going to do the same thing, but I am going to do it bigger, I’m going to do it better, it’s going to be far worse than the previous.' They’re all using high-power weapons that can kill a number of people at once," said Jefferson. 

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