Jake Marshall (front left), Sgt. Lynn Atchinson (front right) and Captain Jay Belcher (rear). Photo courtesy of GPD

The Gardner Police Department had an active shooter training at Trail Ridge Middle School this week.
The training is held annually, and was scheduled well ahead of the recent shooting in Florida, according to Jim Pruetting, Gardner police chief. There were no students present, as they were off for spring break.
Pruetting said every officer on the department goes through a four-hour block of training, which consists of multiple active shooter scenarios.  Speakers are used to simulate gunshots and a loud, chaotic scene throughout the building.   Department instructors are present to evaluate officers and serve as actors (suspects, injured parties) in each scenario.
“The training is critical to ensuring we are well-prepared to respond to an active shooter incident in one our schools or anywhere else in our community,” Pruetting said.