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RCPD Trains For Active Shooters

Chynna Lockett

The Rapid City Police Department undergoes training to handle active shooter situations. A simulation teaches officers how to identify shooters and take action quickly.

Trainees with the police department put on masks and file into a room (marked with) desks and long hallways. This is a simulation of an active shooter situation. Some officers role play as civilians to make the scene more realistic.

Duane Baker is a Patrol Officer with the Rapid City Police Department. He says an active shooter situation can happen anywhere so it’s important for them to be prepared.

“Because time is not on your side. When we arrive at these at these kind of situations and we get there and there’s an active shooter we don’t have time to wait and this is what this teaches us. We have to go—we go now. We take care of what we have to take care of when we address a threat.”

Baker has been with the department for 17 years. He says the department can’t prepare for every situation but that these training sessions are important.

“Things that I always take away from this kind of training, things that I’ve learned from this training is hat when we have to identify our target, we have to know what’s going on around us. We have to be aware. We have to watch out for the civilians and we have to watch out for ourselves.”

Baker says officers are taught to prioritize civilian lives over their own in active shooter situations.