Miami-Dade Police gives 7News behind-the-scenes look at mass shooting training

DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida police department is preparing its officers to deal with a tragedy in the wake of increased mass shootings, and they took 7News inside their training day.

Miami-Dade Police received a simulator to help officers train for active shooter scenarios. 7’s Rosh Lowe got a first-hand glimpse of how the simulator works and what it’s like to be in a high-pressure situation, Friday.

“Our staple for the Miami-Dade Police Department is to, number one, stop the killing. And then, number two, stop the dying,” said Miami-Dade Police Capt. Mario Knapp.

Knapp runs the training division for the department.

“All we can do is train them. We never really know how anybody is gonna respond, and that’s the reality of it,” Knapp said. “Everybody here is human, nobody here wants to die, but what we try to tell our officers is that, if it were your kid, and your kid were in there, would you go in? And if the answer is yes to that, why wouldn’t you do it for someone else’s kid?”

The Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has made active-training exercises crucial for law enforcement officers.

Former Broward School Resource Officer Scot Peterson could be seen on surveillance not going inside of the building where the shooting took place.

“It trains them to be able to deal with the chaos that they’re gonna run into,” Knapp said.

Part of the training has to do with the mindset of the officer, and getting ready for any kind of situation.

7News saw in one case during the simulation that the shooter was hiding behind a victim.

Knapp expressed the importance of angles. “You have to go towards the bad guy, you have to go towards the shooting and challenge him,” he said.

Training day doesn’t stop there. A building at the training facility is available for officers to practice turning corners to confront the suspect.

“That’s our challenge, because it’s not normal. It goes against our natural instinct as a human to go into fire,” Knapp said.

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