EUGENE, Ore. — The classrooms at Parker Elementary School haven’t housed students in quite some time, but Saturday the hallways were filled with a different type of teaching
“We’re trying to prepare our officers in the Eugene-Springfield area to respond to an active shooter event,” said Terry Miller, Senior Trooper with the Oregon State Police.
Miller is just one of the trainers teaching Oregon State Police how to quickly deal with a gunman. “It’s very realistic. It’s complex. Real buildings are complex. Not all active shooters happen in a school. But if we train in a school, it’s a good platform for moving to another large building anywhere, any kind,” said Miller.
For the past year, he’s been traveling all across Oregon to teach each and every state trooper how to maneuver through these tricky territories.
This practice is nothing new. The state has been training troopers how to respond to these situations since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
“It was clear after that incident that the public expectation was not for us to be outside where we’re safe, and try to talk to this person,” said Miller.
Police said gunmen are typically looking to take down as many victims as they can, which is why troopers said it’s important they don’t miss a step because it could cost a life.
“So we are going to be unsafe doing this in some regards, but this training that we’re putting out is trying to bring our safety level up to a point we can do this with the expectation that it’s not a suicide mission,” said Miller.