Mass shootings are on the rise in the United States. More than 350 shootings, involving the death of four or more people, have happened this year alone, according to CBS News.
In just a matter of seconds the unexpected could happen. That’s not only the case in San Bernardino, California, but even in Wichita Falls.
That's why law enforcement officials across the nation are spending less time ignoring national trends and more time preparing.
“If you see a certain trend a wise police department, a wise city, would ensure that their officers are trained, equipped and prepared to meet that if it came here,” said Sergeant Harold McClure, Public Information officer for the Wichita Falls Police Department.
McClure said that's exactly what this department does. Every officer has to go through simulation training using simulated ammunition, adding the real-life experience to an officer’s arsenal.
“They are constantly reviewing different cases,” said McClure. “When something happens nationally or anywhere around the world they'll stop and take a look at it.”
That's also the case after the active shooter situation in Wichita Falls about five years ago. They review the protocol and procedure to see what they could have done better.
“You always play the ‘what-if’ scenario and you always want to have as much intel as possible,” said McClure.
They gather that by working with areas with a high number of possible victims, like the mall and schools. WFPD officers practice active shooting situations inside the building that way they are already prepared should something happen.
“I'm definitely confident that our guys are well trained and well prepared,” said McClure. “Can you prepare for every incident, probably not, but the more you train the more prepared you're going to be.”
Having the police department prepared isn’t the only thing needed, should an active shooter situation arise. You also need an educated public to have the right tools to know what to do in that situation.
About 60 percent of active shooting situation end before officers actually arrive on scene, according to CBS News. In the case that officers won’t be able to help citizens, people should be prepared in what to do in that type of situation.
The first step is to run or try and remove yourself from the environment, according to Sergeant McClure. If you can't do that, officers said to create a barrier between the active shooter and you. The very last option would be to fight the attacker. You can do that by using surrounding objects as weapons, according to McClure.