WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (FOX 13) - It could be at your kids’ school, your church, or at the shopping mall down the street; an active shooter can show up anywhere.
That’s why law enforcement officers and school guardians have to be ready for anything.
In Polk County, they train at Polk State Center for Public Safety on a video simulator that can put them into hundreds of real life different scenarios. They train on the simulator for 8 hours.
“To prepare them for the horrific event of a firefight, or active shooter, or a madman with a gun trying to hurt people,” said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd.
FOX 13 News' Ken Suarez underwent a much shorter version of the same thing.
First, a coach explains your body position and how to shoot effectively. Then the lights go out and a video appears on a screen on the wall.
This scenario was in a diner. You see what an officer would see, moving from room to room. Even though he knew it was not the real thing, Suarez ill at ease, knowing that danger is present, but not knowing where the assailant is or when he would encounter him.
"All of a sudden, he is in front of me shooting," Suarez said. "I fire nine shots. The second one hits and wounds him. He goes down, fires back, and the screen turns gray, meaning I have been killed."
In a second scenario, the bad guy took him out even quicker.
He let pondering what might happen if he was really in that situation.
"My nerves would be much more raw, my adrenaline racing even quicker. I can only guess that my accuracy would be even worse," Suarez said.