Lower Burrell police conduct 'active shooter' training at Burrell High School
By Mary Ann Thomas
Published: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, 12:06 a.m.
A little splatter from paint pellets in the hallways of Burrell High School was a small price to pay for a police-training exercise Wednesday.
Brandishing imitation semi-automatic rifles and handguns, known as “simunition,” Lower Burrell police fanned out through the halls and in classrooms for “active shooter” training.
Although Lower Burrell and other police departments regularly conduct such training exercises, using the school offered an opportunity for officers to better familiarize themselves with the site.
“We've done this training in abandoned homes before,” said Tim Weitzel, Lower Burrell police chief.
“The reason we wanted to use the school is because it seems that mass shootings are becoming more prevalent,” he said. “And if there's one place where I want my guys to be on top of their game, it is at a school.”
The high school was closed for the day, save for some administrators and maintenance personnel.
Burrell School District Superintendent Shannon Wagner said she was more than willing to let the police use the high school.
“God forbid something would happen, they'd be trained in our school and know what's going,” she said. “They needed a place to train. If they're going to train, why not let it be here?”
Lower Burrell police paid about $2,000 for the special training on Wednesday and later this month by Joe Lamphere, founder of Precision Weapons and Tactics in Pittsburgh's South Hills.
“We're focusing on engaging an armed suspect that is shooting at people,” Weitzel said.
The exercise features drills for footwork, strategy and tactics.
The department will continue to practice some of the drills they learned on Wednesday, Weitzel said.
Lamphere's company conducts about 30 such classes per year and demand is increasing, he said.
“There's a tremendous need,” Weitzel said.
A former Marine who was a marksmanship instructor, Lamphere said that his company offers courses that smaller police departments can afford and don't take up too much time.
Such training is becoming more widespread, Lamphere added.
“The gap between the tactical officer and patrol officer is getting smaller,” he said.
Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- FRESH, NOT FAKE
- Novel, film share little beyond nearly identical titles
- Valley High Touchdown Club officers clash with parents over finances
- Allegheny Township man accused of gashing girlfriend’s face with scissors
- Knoch High School, Penn United may join forces for tech class
- ‘Welcome Christmas’ at Casino Theatre embraces the reason for the season
- Apollo fire company to upgrade safety gear
- Penn United Technologies employees carry on late co-worker’s good deeds
- Chill won’t halt Hulton Bridge work
- New Ken man’s mission to Haiti helps the poor
- Springdale pursues funding for water plant