Emergency response crews, USD 383 wrap up active violence training

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Manhattan Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Whitehair debriefs participants before Thursday’s active violence training at Manhattan High School West Campus. (Staff photo by Hailey McClellan)

Since Wednesday, the Riley County Police Department and emergency personnel from the Manhattan Fire Department, Riley County EMS, KSU PD and other law enforcement partners have participated in active violence training exercises at Manhattan High School West Campus.

After the exercises on Thursday, KMAN spoke with Lt. Brad Jager, Training Coordinator at the RCPD, about their work.

“The importance of the exercise is that we’re allowing agencies from around the community to all get together and work in this active violence scenario,” Jager said.

According to a press release from the department, this training was focused on streamlining inter-agency cooperation during crisis situations.

Police and emergency crews execute active violence training exercises inside MHS Thursday afternoon. (Staff photo by Hailey McClellan)

“We’re a smaller community,” Jager continued. “That’s why we collaborate with all the surrounding agencies.”

The training took place Wednesday through Friday. To ensure the surrounding community was aware that there was no danger to the public, signs were posted designating the area as a temporary training site.

While at the training, Mark Whitehair, Battalion Chief of Training for the Manhattan Fire Department, shared statistics from the FBI detailing the number of events akin to this training scenario. Whitehair said that in 2016-2017, 50 similar incidents occurred in 21 states. Forty occurred in 2014-2015.

“You can’t predict it,” said Lt. Jager. “It can happen anywhere from a small community to a large community,” and he went on to emphasize that the only way to truly handle these situations “is to prepare ourselves for it.”

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