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Program trains officers in mass shooting response

Aurora, Colo., shooting highlight need for continued training

SAN MARCOS, Texas - A unique program based out of Texas State University is training law enforcement officers on how to respond to mass shooting incidents like what happened in Aurora, Colo., last week.

The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training program was created near the beginning of the last decade as a response to the Columbine shooting.

Law enforcement agencies across the United States -- including the recently added New York Police Department -- have joined local agencies like the San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in the program.

Participants are walked through a series of hypothetical "active shooter" situations. 

Mock environments designed to look like schools, offices and residences were constructed to make the training more realistic.

Experts said realism and repetition in training are key.

"Stopping the murdering is the overall goal, but how we go about doing that is extremely delicate," said John Cornutt, an instructor and co-founder of the facility.

The program is constantly re-evaluated. 

When officers recognize deficiencies, or after learning from events like Aurora, changes are swiftly added to the curriculum.

Recent additions have added medical training to the course, as officers realized EMS units sometimes cannot get to victims quick enough.

Despite changes to the process, however, the overall goal always remains the same.

"We train people to go into incredibly violent and chaotic situations and restore order," said Cornutt.

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