FAU trains for school shooting

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) - Florida Atlantic University and Boca Raton police officers went door-to-door down a row of FAU classrooms.

In a drill emphasizing swift, focused action with air guns and protective masks, they were trying to snuff out a gunman who'd taken a hostage.

"It's a situation where there's a lot of muscle memory, there's a lot of technique and tactics that are involved. We have to know what we're going to do," said Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander.

Although, they've never had to do it for a real school shooting, FAU police say, they would call in Boca Raton police because of their deeper resources.

They have hostage negotiators and a SWAT team.

But learning to work together takes work. "It's important for us to share techniques, so you don't have one officer pulling the door and one pushing the door," said Alexander.

This is their 10th training session together.

Training for these types of scenarios got much more serious after Columbine and Virginia Tech. "It's been happening at a university setting. You really have to gear up, it's really getting your patrolmen to coordinate a rapid response to save lives," said FAU's deputy chief Keith Totten.

Police officers no longer wait for SWAT teams.

They move as quickly as possible to find the shooter and end the threat.

"We go into the situation immediately. It could be one officer, two officers, four officers. We don't wait anymore," said Alexander.

Police say the training is all done in the name of caution.

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