FBI Joins With Local Police for Active Shooter Conference - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

FBI Joins With Local Police for Active Shooter Conference

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Even months after the Newtown, Conn., shootings, the tragedy still weighs heavy on a lot of people's minds, including law enforcement.

Due to that and other shootings, such as the 1999 shooting at Columbine and the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, the FBI and dozens of police officers from across the area met for an "active shooter" seminar to prepare themselves for a similar situation.

All too familiar with these cases is FBI special agent Jeff Taylor.

"We have had our own instances here in our community at Virginia Tech," Taylor said. "We are trying to prevent those things from happening again, but these things are hard to prevent. Really one of the best things we can do is work with our local partners and make sure that we are trained how to respond to that threat if it actually happens."

This week the training began where over 70 members of local, state, and federal agencies joined together for those type of active shooter situations.

Roanoke City Police Chief Chris Perkins says the most effective response comes from agencies joining forces.

"There are tips and strategies and tactics to doing that," Perkins said. "The biggest piece is working together and identifying where are there gaps in our service that we provide."

The sceneries of recent mass casualty tragedies like Sandy Hook Elementary and Virginia Tech were applied to local surroundings, such as Virginia Western Community College.

Perkins says it's important to be prepared for the "what if."

"There is nothing routine about anything that we do," Perkins said. "Be cognitive of your surroundings. Pay attention to the environment. Be compassionate and caring, but be safe and aware of what may or may not occur. That produces the best first responder, the best police officer."