Officers from around the region converged on Jordan High School to practice scenario tactics they hope they never have to use.
The Long Beach Police Department hosted a special training session Thursday while students were away on spring break. More than 100 officers were set to participate in drills. Each training session lasted about a half hour - sessions repeated continuously from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
"We've simulated an incident when there are several people on campus shooting at students and teachers," said Lt. Ty Hatfield, LBPD Youth Services. "The idea is to simulate someone who is actively shooting on campus.
"We want our officers to respond quickly and get to the threat as soon as possible. The sooner we get to them the better chance there will be less casualties. We're looking for a quick response that is tactically sound."
Groups of officers, usually about six, entered the school grounds after a suspect fired shots. They were called to the scene by dispatch. Upon entering the scene, they immediately found a wounded officer and scared children running by. From there, they had to secure the area while finding two suspects - one who had a hostage. The SWAT unit was on hand to watch and evaluate the training drill.
Hatfield said officials were looking for unit quickness, ability to indentify the targets, how efficiently the unit was able to handle the suspects and how effective the unit members were able to communicate with dispatch and one another.
At one point, the Long Beach Explorers - a group of youngsters training to be potential officers of the future - were allowed to run the scenario.
"We've had good tactics (today by the officers), they just need to be refined a little bit," Hatfield said. "We don't do this very often."
LBPD hosted a similar training session last summer at Millikan High School.
Photos by Jonathan Van Dyke