Gunfire, emergency vehicles and a lot of police officers - that's what folks on the campus of MTSU will be encountering for the next few days. It's all to train officers for a real event that no one ever wants to see.
It's a realistic scenario that could happen anywhere at any time, even on a college campus.
"We try to train as realistic as possible," said Brett Huskey, MTSU police lieutenant.
Officers quickly learned even a routine traffic stop can take an unexpected turn.
"Get back into the car!" an officer yells, as one of the suspects gets out and starts shooting.
It was an all out gunfight between MTSU police and fellow officers who played the bad guys.
"Every time you get out of a car as a police officer approaching a vehicle, you're taking a risk," Huskey said.
Officers wanted to make the scenario as real as possible. They use training Glock handguns, but they don't use real ammo. Instead, they use simulated ammunition, basically a plastic bullet with paint inside.
This is all part of MTSU Department of Public Safety law enforcement training exercises. MTSU cops are training to be prepared for any situation, even a mass shooting like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
"Nobody wants to have to encounter such a tragedy, but it is important and necessary and important for us to be prepared as we possibly can," said Jason Wofford, an MTSU police lieutenant.
The officers also trained for an active shooter scenario at a dorm.
"My heart goes out to the people in Connecticut, but that's on a mass scale, so we try to train on that as well," Huskey said.
The officers are hoping they never have to put this training to use, but they're well prepared just in case.
MTSU police have filled out the necessary paperwork with the Tennessee Post Commission in hopes that the board will allow officers to use this training as part of the required 40 hours of in-service.
The exercises will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Wednesday.
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