A look inside how Chattanooga police train for active shooters - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

A look inside how Chattanooga police train for active shooters

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Channel 3 wanted to know more about how officers prepare for events like what unfolded on July 16, 2015, the day Chattanooga was shaken to it's core. 

While the department couldn't show us all of their tactics, they showed us one of the many ways they prepare for an active shooter. 

"From the time the first shot was fired on Lee Highway to the time it was all over on Amnicola Highway was 18 minutes. That includes travel time of the suspect from Point A to Point B. That's a very short time frame with a lot of violence in it," Assistant Chief David Roddy said. 

It was also a day the selfless service of Chattanooga's police officers shined.

Roddy says it takes countless hours of training for officers to be ready for an active shooter. It's training that starts in the police academy. 

"This has to be something that officers can remember and apply directly in a short period of time," he said, "Active shooter is an extremely critical but also what's called a perishable skill."

Chattanooga police gave Channel 3 a peek at one way officers keep those skills and techniques sharp. Like through training exercises at Hamilton Place Mall where an active shooter situation was staged. Officers must maneuver through one million square foot building clearing every inch. 

"You may have a patrol shift where you have an overlap of officers, we might take some officers out of a district and have them go do active shooter training for an hour here or an hour there. SWAT is doing the same thing on their training days or an investigative unit is doing the same thing on a day where no one has to go to court," Roddy said. 

Roddy says the department has taken a hard look at how officers handled the events that unfolded on July 16th to see what worked well and what could be improved on. 

Those lessons were put to the test earlier this month when police responded to reports of shots fired at the U.S. Naval Reserve Center on Amnicola Highway. The call turned out to be a false alarm. 

"People's understanding of just the geography, what the building looked like, what the military personnel response inside the building. We've either already seen it or we've had discussions since July 16th and we have a better understanding of what everyone is doing in that incident," he said. 

A glimpse inside what it means to serve and protect during Chattanooga's darkest hour. 

 Chattanooga police say they've seen an increase from those in the community interested in active shooter training since July 16th. For more information about ALICE training, click HERE

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