St. Louis County Police offer active shooter training

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The likelihood of encountering an active shooter might seem small. But police say preparedness is key, just as it is for any other emergency situation.

Members of the St. Louis County Police Department’s Tactical Operations provided hands-on instruction at the Tech Electronics Expo in Bridgeton Thursday. Officer Corey Zavorka is assigned to the department’s Tactical Operations Unit. He was on site at the Kirkwood City Hall shooting in 2008.

“We hear the argument that the chance of this happening is very slim,” Zavorka said. “I would counter that with the chance of this happening is certainly increasing. A lot of people at a lot of different places such as Aurora, Colorado, and Sandy Hook would say that this is definitely a realistic situation that could happen anywhere.”

Zavorka and St. Louis County Officer Mike Fumagalli led the session, “Option-Based Response to Active Shooters.” In one scenario, volunteers from the audience were given one minute to barricade themselves inside the room, to prevent an intruder from entering.

Denying access is one of four options to active shooter scenarios. The barricade exercise, is known as “Evading,” Zavorka said. The other three “E’s” are Educate, Escape, and Engage.

“No matter what field you’re in, it takes training and practice to get better and more proficient at whatever you’re doing,” Zavorka said.

The training is used by many large school districts in St. Louis County, as well as businesses, and places of worship.