waco — Twenty-seven Waco students got a small taste of what it is like for police officers during a dangerous active shooter situation.
"With the work police go through, no one really knows that they have to go through on a day to day basis, and now that we've seen more of it, it’s crazy," Junior Police Academy student Jeremiah Vela said.
The Waco Police SWAT team led the Junior Police Academy during a very detailed training. They learned how to carry their gun in a Sul position, while communicating and creating a plan as they entered the danger zone.
"I’ve also incorporated what they can do to protect and defend themselves in case an active shooter situation happens at their school, or the business their parents work at, and kind of mitigate casualties,” Waco Swat Sargent Phil Zbriol said.
With their rubber training guns in hand, students took every bit of their lesson seriously.
In order to protect themselves, the SWAT team taught them to use the four and five-man movement to navigate doorways to spot a shooter, without putting their lives in jeopardy. They also told them to try not to be seen much as possible.
“It's all about action versus reaction,” Junior Police Academy student Abigail Mifflin said. “You have to act first. You can't react. Reacting is too much time being taken from apprehending the suspect."
The Junior Police Academy students are will graduate on Thursday. They've done ropes course training, the obstacle course, and team building.
The intent of the academy is for the students to work as teams and to learn about the different specialties within law enforcement. Most of these students are already laying the foundation for a career in criminal justice by taking criminal justice classes in school and/or involved in the Waco Police Explorer program.