Naples police sharpen skills in active shooter training without warning

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Active shooter training. (Credit: WINK News)
Active shooter training. (Credit: WINK News)

There is no time to waste when a shooter threatens lives. That is why Naples Police Department officers received no warning when they were pulled into an active shooter training as they let their instincts take over.

NPD officers pulled off of the streets and surprise! They are stripped of their real weapons, given simulators and thrown into a mock active shooter situation.

“That’s the way it is in reality,” said John Barkley, an assistant chief of NPD. “When an officer gets a call on the radio, they’re responding immediately; and they don’t have time to think about it for days, for weeks or something like that.”

They had more like seconds having no idea what they were getting into. But that is part of the training.

“No matter what community they’re in,” Barkley said. “No matter where they protect or patrol. They always have to be prepared for any incident.”

In the mock scenario, officers had to go into the chamber and address the threat in the room. To do so, they fall back on prior skills they have learned. At first, I posed as a Naples council member who was a potential victim.

Then, I geared up in full protective gear and I played an officer. I got to see and feel firsthand what officers potentially face. The emotions and adrenaline are real.

Training these skills regularly give officers the best tools to survive and protect the public.

“We’d like to be able to wait for three and four people, but that’s not necessarily reality,” Barkley said. “The problem with an active shooter situation, an active shooting going on, people are getting killed every second. Every minute, more and more people the officers have to react immediately.”

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