Plus new protective shields will help PD amid active shooter event

PECOS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – In an effort to promote safety in the community, the Pecos Police Department decided there was a need for training local businesses on Active Shooter Response techniques as well as providing officers with new equipment that could potentially save lives.

The Chief of Police, Lisa Tarango, explained that the department recognized that there was a need for their community and businesses to be prepared in the event of an active shooter scenario. So, she sent her Captains to training so that they could become certified to teach local businesses. So far, the city offices and local churches have taken advantage of the program; but she hopes that more businesses will jump on board with the free training.

The training includes personalized strategies and procedures for each business so that they can ensure proper safety routes and techniques specific to that location of the business and its staff. The training also includes an inspection of items such as fire extinguishers and other necessary safety devices a business might need to keep on hand for emergencies.

Along with the Active Shooter Response Training, Tarango also worked with Pecos City Council to approve the purchase of new Kevlar shields that officers will carry in their units with them at all times.

Tarango said, “One of the reasons that officers stated they didn’t enter the school in Uvalde was that they didn’t have their shields.”

This prompted the idea of purchasing the shields and incorporating training with them monthly. So, Tarango reached out to the manufacturer to find out if there was a training curriculum for the use of the shields; but the manufacturer stated that they did not have one in place. Along with her Captains, Tarango decided that the department would produce a curriculum and begin training at least once a month to ensure that the department would be efficient at using the shields.

Another issue that came up during this process was the cost- the shields are around $500 a piece. However, the budget approved did not provide the department with enough shields for every officer.

“Right now we are swapping shields out. When the day shift leaves for the evening, they leave behind their shields for the next shift to pick up”, said Tarango.

Because of the budget constraints, the department is currently needing another ten shields. They are hoping that the next fiscal budget will include enough funding for the rest of the shields they are needing.

Anyone interested in signing their business up for the training can call the Pecos Police Department at 432-445-4911.