This past weekend’s shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas have initiated a lot of discussion -- even amongst local law enforcement agencies in the Cape Fear region. Officials with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office say they are constantly analyzing mass shooting scenarios as a way to increase their response time.
Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said earlier this week that his department actively trains and prepares for cases with active shooters. The sheriff’s office does the same, according to Deputy Sheriff Jerry Brewer. And while the Dayton and El Paso shootings are still under investigation, he says past events have taught him a lot.
“...for example, the nightclub shooting down in Florida a couple of years ago. So, I remember going to training on that... where they said, this is the situation we were faced with… this is how we handled it… we might tweak it and do something different this way... And you go, ‘Oh, let's train like that.’ You have to take each case by case and look where you can learn from it.. and try not to make those mistakes that other agencies may have made unknowingly.”
Brewer says he can’t go into training specifics, but that all deputies go through over 40 hours of active shooter training on an annual basis.