Nine members of the Marine Unit and nine other officers from Divisions across the city took place in a training exercise at the Island Public School on Ward's Island.
The Active Attacker/Lockdown Training was the first to take place in partnership with the Marine Unit.
The exercise is a tactical response opportunity for officers to practice techniques and give them a real-time experience for a person with a gun in or around a school, said Marine Constable Richard Baker, who was a facilitator for the training. Such training happens within the police college monthly, but being on a real location has its own sets of challenges confronting officers.
“Every building is a different challenge, with the Marine Unit we have to think about things like how quick can we get over there? How close can the boat get to the shore? Do officers need cover/concealment when they get there? Things you don’t think about day to day” said Baker.
“In general people aren’t familiar with the Marine Unit, they don’t know the layout and where the dock is, so this is a good way to familiarize them so they know it better logistically,” said Constable Tony Santeramo, the Lockdown and Threat Assessment Coordinator for the Divisional Policing Support Unit.
Baker added that an active shooter is one of the worst calls the police can get and the quicker the response time, the fewer victims there will be.
“Every shot you are hearing can be a potential victim, so the quicker response time… the suspect is forced to stop killing and respond to police instead,” said Baker.
Officers were given training on water conditions and how to get on and off a boat plus other information they need for boat transportation before they headed to the Island School for the lockdown.
DPSU, the Toronto Police College, TPOC and Communications Services helped organize the event and operational plan for the training.