IMPD hosts active shooter training for community members

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — We hear more and more often of “active shooter” situations, like Sandy Hook, Columbine, and the Charleston church shooting.

IMPD’s Southwest District is working to prepare the public in case they ever encounter an active shooter.

When information to sign up for this class went public, 60 spots filled up within a day.

To the police, that means this training strikes a chord with people in the community who want to feel empowered to keep themselves safe.

Among the community members at Tuesday’s active shooter safety training was teacher Leann Kavanaugh.

“With all the incidents that are happening in the schools, I would like to know what to do to protect my students,” she said.

Going into the class, Kavanaugh felt unprepared in the event she was faced with a shooter at work.

“I think it would be good for everyone to have the experience and know the information that you really need in a situation,” Kavanaugh said.

She and the rest of the class listened to a presentation by Detective David Spurgeon.

“They are not helpless, they can do something for themselves, they can do something for others, and they can buy time for law enforcement to respond,” Spurgeon said.

The group listened to a 911 call from the Columbine school shooting to analyze what went right and what went wrong.

Spurgeon offered some specific tips for a situation like that one.

“Don’t deny that you’re in a violent encounter,” Spurgeon said. “You need to get through that phase as fast as possible and get into the deliberation phase and in that deliberation phase it’s extremely important to have a plan.”

He said that plan is extremely important to remember during a crisis.

“Lock the door, turn out the lights, don’t make a sound, try to find a secondary exit,” Spurgeon said.

Hopefully none of the people at the training will need to use what they learned.

In case they do, Spurgeon wants to empower those like Kavanaugh to take control of their own safety.

“It’s concerning when you see all these things going on in the different states and even Indiana, so it’s worth going, more people should come and see these things so we all know what to do,” Kavanaugh said.

IMPD will be having another free class like this one coming up on May 3rd.

For more information you can contact IMPD Southwest district at 317-327-6465 or

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