SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Department of Public Safety and officers with the South San Antonio Independent School District stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder, taking part in a training that can mean the difference between life and death.
As part of the state's initiative to make school campuses much safer, trainees were provided with standardized training at South San ISD's Kazen Middle School for emergency responses that include situations such as an active shooter.
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"We have a real facility we're using. This is an old school we're using (so) this is more realistic," Lt. Jason Reyes, with DPS, said. "We can breach the classrooms (and) we can go and clear each classroom, so this is more realistic for us."
The training comes more than four months after the shooting at Santa Fe High School that left 10 students dead and 13 others hurt.
South San ISD Police Chief Eugene Tovar said one of the goals is to be on the same page with other police agencies when responding to an active shooter situation.
"We're all trained on the same procedures to respond and the rapid response to help ensure the safety of the kids and the staff and the people of these communities," Tovar said.
Reyes said the No. 1 priority is safety.
"The assets of school districts are our children. We've got to make sure that they're safe and (have) the culture and the environment so they can learn," Tovar said.
The same response training being taught at the state level is also being taught nationally.