Schools Train for Mass Casualty

San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez

Raymondville police officers, Willacy County Sheriff deputies and constables and Lyford Consolidated Independent School District Police took their turns shooting at targets inside a classroom, at the old Travis Elementary School building in Lyford.

Although the bullets and scenarios were fake, the purpose for the training is serious.

San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez was one of the instructors.

"We want to just show them some skills and abilities and also some equipment they can utilize when they have an active shooter inside a school, in a bus or outside in a parking lot in a vehicle," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez along with the Law Enforcement Emergency Regional Response team led the two-day training. Participants learned about hostage rescue, how to identify threats and how appropriately respond to them.

Lyford Superintendent Eduardo Infante said while the district has never been in direct threat, It TMs important to stay proactive.

"It TMs a small rural community, we're much more trusting or much more family oriented but that leads to possible issues when it comes to security issues, Infante said. So we're dealing with those, we're working through that."

School shootings have become too common throughout the country and Gonzalez said law enforcement officials must have continued training on handling these type of situations, especially when thousands of children's lives are at stake.

"The challenge is that we have a lot of people to evacuate, Gonzalez said. We're going to have a lot of people - we're going to have to deal with students, teachers, staff, janitors the parents that are going to want to evacuate their kids."

About 20 law enforcement officials took part in the training. Gonzalez said this type of training has been in high demand since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and LEERRT is scheduled to train at least three more school districts in the Valley.

No students were involved in the training.

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