Home Live trainings Spartanburg Police and CSC conduct active training for shooters because ‘immediate action’ is more crucial

Spartanburg Police and CSC conduct active training for shooters because ‘immediate action’ is more crucial

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Steve Sipe knows how crucial medical training is for law enforcement officers dealing with active shooter situations.

Sipe, who works in security at Spartanburg Medical Center, was a Greenville police officer until he was shot dead in May 1989. He has since retired from the police department and been training as part of active shooter training for law enforcement. Thursday, July 14 at Pine Street Elementary School.

“Run and don’t try to go towards the shots. Take cover and let us do what we have to do,” Sipe said. “In 1989 I was shot in the head. This training means a lot to me.”

The Spartanburg Police Department is conducting active marksmanship training sessions at Pine Street Elementary School in Spartanburg on Thursday, July 14, 2022. Police officers, school personnel and security guards are participating in the training, including the first intervention medical triage.  Investigator Michael Woodcock, left, takes part in a training exercise to save lives from blood loss.

Only law enforcement officers were permitted to participate in the July 11-14 police department training, but Spartanburg Community College’s active shooter training is open to the public, but charges a fee.

Spartanburg Community College is hosting the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate (ALICE) Instructor Certification Training on July 18-19. ALICE is a program that trains people on how to respond to violent critical incidents.

These training programs have become more common due to the recent spate of mass shootings.

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The Spartanburg Police Department conducts active firearms training sessions at Pine Street Elementary School in Spartanburg.  Police officers, school personnel and security guards participate in the training on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

Spartanburg Community College is committed to safety

Participants in the ALICE certification course will be able to visit their companies and guide staff through scenarios. The college also plans to train its teachers and students in scenarios and how to act correctly.

“I take safety seriously, it’s my priority,” Spartanburg Community College Police Chief Kevin Powers said. “I knew the program was well known, and it’s not just a program that teaches in the classroom. I wanted something more hands-on, and this program does just that.”

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The Spartanburg Police Department is conducting active marksmanship training sessions at Pine Street Elementary School in Spartanburg on Thursday, July 14, 2022. Police officers, school personnel and security guards are participating in the training, including the first intervention medical triage.  Tactical Medic Officer Josh Cote teaches how to check a pulse and use a tourniquet to save lives from blood loss.

Spartanburg police adapt to protocol changes

Spartanburg Police Maj. Art Littlejohn said that since the Columbine massacre in April 1999, protocol in a mass shooting has been to wait for a SWAT team. Now officers are trained to act immediately because every moment is crucial to saving lives.

“Times keep changing because we learn from other events,” Littlejohn said. “When we did, many years ago, we were waiting for a SWAT team which took 45 minutes. Now we immediately enter the building because we have no time to waste. Whoever the first officer is at the scene , they will make their entrance.”

On Thursday, July 14, members of the Spartanburg Police Department and the Spartanburg Regional Health System trained on how to properly care for gunshot wounds.

“We eliminate the threat and then focus on saving lives,” Spartanburg Police Officer Nicholas Vaughn said. “If the threat is not eliminated, we will not be able to save lives.”

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Ensuring the safety of people during active fire situations

Resource officers from Spartanburg School District 7 also participated in the police department’s active shooter training at Pine Street Elementary School.

“They [the school] used to have hiding protocol and now you should walk away from the situation,” said Sean Bibler, a resource officer for Spartanburg School District 6. “Try to be a good bystander to notice the things that can help law enforcement. Give a good description of what was going on, what he looked like and the movements he was making.”

The Spartanburg Police Department conducts active firearms training sessions at Pine Street Elementary School in Spartanburg.  Principal Dennis Regnier speaks about the partnership and the value of in-school training, Thursday, July 14, 2022.

Pine Street Elementary School principal Dennis Regnier said raising awareness can also make a difference to people feeling safe.

“Knowing what the pain points in our schools are and how we can address them really helps us stay on the same page and protect our students,” Regnier said. “We do trespass drills and evacuation drills twice a year. We’ve had SWAT, county, and city members here to help and observe us. It helps communicate to our kids about the way to stay safe and not be afraid.”

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The Spartanburg Police Department is conducting active marksmanship training sessions at Pine Street Elementary School in Spartanburg on Thursday, July 14, 2022. Police officers, school personnel and security guards are participating in the training, including the first intervention medical triage.  Tactical Officer Medic Josh Cote, right, teaches officers, including Nic Vaughn, center, how to save lives from blood loss.