Local police officers learn how to handle active shooters alone

By Beau Ebenezer

March 22, 2014 Updated Mar 22, 2014 at 10:19 PM CDT

AVON, Ill. -- Small police departments around the area experienced first-hand how to take down a possible school shooter.

It is something every police officer hopes they never have to experience.

But if they do ever encounter an active shooter, learning how to take him or her down, is a skill highly desired.

"Their back-up could 15 or 20 minutes away," said police training specialist, Chris Fisher. "These active shooter instances can last only about eight minutes. You have to know how to engage and handle it yourself because the back-up just is not there."

Saturday, Fisher trained officers on how to effectively respond alone to active shooters at Avon Middle School.

Fisher is part of Certified Wolf Hunter, a training company out of Alabama.

Officers from nine different departments in Central Illinois learned how to approach shooters in a class room, using air-soft bee-bee guns.

The exercises were extremely important for the Avon Police Department.

They only have six officers who respond to emergency calls.

"You kind of get an idea of the mentality of not waiting for that back-up," said Avon Police Chief, Bill Garrison. "It can obviously cost lives. It is not necessarily a right way or a wrong way. It's just another way we can use the limited resources we have."

Along with offering the training for session free, Certified Wolf Hunter also donated six ballistic vests to the Avon Police Department.

Officers said the vests are crucial in keeping them safe in any situation.

After the day-long training, all of the officers added that they are better prepared mentally and physically for any shooting situation.