MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – Michigan State Police (MSP) invited law enforcement agencies from across the Upper Peninsula this week to participate in active shooter training inside the old Marquette General hospital. The guns weren’t real but the situations they encountered were as close to real as you can get.
“It’s vitally important that our troopers and officers are well-trained just in case this call does come in,” said Lt. Mark Giannunzio, 8th District Public Information Officer, MSP Negaunee Post. “We want to make sure to avoid anything like we’ve seen in the country the past few years where a shooter gets away with too much. So, when this call comes in, our troopers are going to go in and eliminate that threat as soon as they possibly can.”
MSP holds these active shooter trainings every few years. This helps ensure law enforcement agencies are up to date on tactics and techniques.
“They’re learning how to react properly, how to team up, and form a unit to go in and locate that threat, and when they do locate that threat if it is still an active threat, they’re going to eliminate that threat,” said Giannunzio. “It may be a group of troopers or deputies and local officers that get together. We have a very unique situation here in the Upper Peninsula where where there’s not a ton of officers all over the place. We have to be able to team up with our local partners and be able to make sure that we take care of these types of situations.”
For some troopers and officers, it’s been many years since the last time they’ve received active shooter training. Detective Trooper Evan Fezatt with the MSP Computer Crimes Unit said he hasn’t received training since he was in the academy four years ago.
“This is going to be big teamwork. A lot of communication working with partners I don’t work with on a daily basis. It’s going to be good to work with somebody new and do high intensity training that I don’t do on a daily basis,” said Fezatt.
Training began Monday and runs through Friday this week. Three training sessions are held each day, with five different scenarios that occur each session. Over the course of the week, more than 200 law enforcement officers and troopers will have participated.