Cole County deputies train for school shooting

An officer plays the role of shooter during the training exercise.

The Cole County Sheriff's Department held active shooter training for its deputies Saturday morning at Russellville High School.

The hands-on training is meant to prepare the deputies both physically and mentally to be first responders to a school shooting.

"All too often we train to do extremely well under reasonable conditions rather than training to do reasonably well under extreme conditions. So we wanted to expose them, and this would be a very extreme condition," Brad Spicer, Cole County reserve deputy and training organizer said.

"The body cannot go where the mind hasn't been. You have to put yourself through that scenario. This type of training provides a degree of stress innoculation, it helps prepare. You will respond like you train," Spicer said.

There also was an emphasis on response time, with every passing second being a potential lost life.

"We do not wait, we arrive on scene, we go in. And as other people come to back you up, great, but the issue is that each person has the responsibility to go in and stop murder in progress," Cole County Sheriff Greg White said.

Spicer discussed what he calls "kill rate."

"That is the number of murder attempts divided by the number of minutes. When we look at past incidents we tell them to assume that's 4.5 murder attempts per minute. So we tell them every 13 seconds that's a life that's being taken or attempted to be taken," he said.

Sheriff White said that for future exercises they may use students acting as victims to add another element of realism.