Texas PD Empower Civilians with SWAT-Like Training Scenarios

Fox 34 News reports that police officers in Lubbock, Texas, are taking the motto, “To Protect and Serve” to a whole new level by offering civilians an opportunity to receive police training.

The recent Aurora shooting and other tragedies like it have left Lubbock police reexamining their training procedures. Training the police to prepare for rogue shooters is certainly an excellent idea – nobody’s going to argue with that – but wouldn’t it be just as beneficial to prepare average citizens?

Officer Chris Paine of the LPD said, “Even if our officers are ready, which they are, and I am confident of that — if we focus all our attention and training to our officers alone, then we may have missed the big picture in keeping our community safe by 250,000 to 300,000 people for our region.”

So, the LPD has created a program that will train citizens how to respond during those critical first few minutes after the first 9-1-1 call goes out, but before the police arrive on scene. And don’t for one second think that the training is something lame, like watching a two-hour video and listening to a lecture. It’s about as hands-on as it can get, replicating real-life combat scenarios with practice guns and rogue shooter actors.

Whenever a business or a group of citizens show interest in the program, the police send instructors to the location to survey the area. They use the information they gather to custom-tailor a training procedure. Citizens will learn where to go, where not to go, how to get groups of people to safety, and how to stay alive. Here’s the best part: it’s free! These are your tax dollars at work — and for once, we can say that without a hint of sarcasm.

We just can’t understand why this isn’t standard operating procedure for every police department in the country. Giving citizens the tools and skills they need to respond to crisis events can save dozens of lives. We could argue back and forth all day about whether or not gun buyback programs help save lives, but there’s really no arguing with a program like this. How can giving civilians practical, hands-on self-defense training possibly be a bad thing?

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