Even before the shooting rampage in Virginia on Monday, a plan was approved to train area law enforcement officers to deal with such a situation.
Aimee Barritt, county emergency management coordinator, told the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday that earlier this month, the 16-county Region 3 Homeland Security Board approved training to deal with an "active shooter."
An intense training session over three 12-hour days is expected to take place sometime this summer in Storm Lake. Todd Erskine of the Storm Lake Police Department is organizing the class, formally called Law Enforcement Officer Response to the Active Shooter.
Barritt said that every law enforcement agency in the region will be invited to participate and it is assumed that law enforcement officers who participate will take the knowledge they gain back to their colleagues at their law enforcement agencies.
"They are excited about this at the sheriff's department," Barritt said.
The approximately $32,000 cost will be paid with federal Homeland Security funds. The individual law enforcement agencies will bear the cost of the law officers' time and incidental expenses such as mileage.
Barritt indicated that the course will be focused on teaching how to take down a sniper or someone with hostages, saving the most lives possible of innocent victims without too much concern about the perpetrator.
Barritt said that since Homeland Security funds have been available locally, they have been used to provide equipment and training that can have practical uses for emergency service providers in highly possible situations.