What Can Columbus Learn From Boston?


UPDATED: Friday April 19, 2013 7:07 PM

Inside the Columbus Police Academy, there are five “scenario rooms.”

It’s in those rooms where recruits are put through their paces, in an effort to prepare them for what they’ll face on the street.

"It's the most realistic way for us to train and to do it safely, in a controlled environment, is to have room like this," said Columbus Police Lt.Tim Sansbury.

Sansbury admits the unprecedented nature of what's happening in Boston is tough to prepare for.

"We've trained for components on this event, but not for the event in its entirety,” he said.

But that could change.

"In the end, we will look on this and look for training needs for our own agency and see if there are any factors that occurred or any incidents within that massive event that we may not be prepared to handle and that maybe we should train for,” he said.

He points to recent history for examples that have provided life-saving lessons for law enforcers.

"Columbine completely changed the dynamics of how we enter into an incident when someone is actually firing a weapon inside. Ever since ... we've trained with what we call active-shooter situations. Virginia Tech taught us that you're not always going to be able to get access to the building where the shooter or victims are. So now we make available bolt-cutters and breaching tools to our first responders,” said Sansbury.

Whatever the outcome in Boston, he has no doubt it will soon be a part of police training manuals across the country.

"I think we owe it to our citizens and to the officers that have lost their lives in the past, and in this incident that has occurred, to learn from their successes and failures,” Sansbury said.

Columbus police say after major events like these, something called an "After-Action Report" is prepared, detailing everything that happened, including what worked, and what did not.

Those reports are then made available to other law enforcement agencies to study.

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