Active Shooter Training At Island School

By Sara Faruqi, Toronto Police Service Published: 10:34 a.m. October 21, 2015

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.

An officer with a replica gun in his hand, looking ahead while walking backwards
An officer covers from behind as his team moves down a hallway looking for shooters inside the school, as part of a training exercise.

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.

A view of the harbour and dock of the police marine unit. There is a police boat on the water, behind it is a larger boat docked.
Eighteen Officers, including Marine Unit members, participated in an active shooter and lockdown training exercise at the Toronto Island School. Officers departed from the city on Marine Unit boats.
Officers with guns and a rifle running
Officers run towards the Island School as part on an active shooter lockdown training.
Shot from within a building, looking out through the windows where two officers with replica guns are walking into the building
TPS officers get ready to enter the Island School as part of an active shooter training exercise.
An officer with a replica rifle aimed in front walking down a hallway of a school.
An officer proceeds down the hallways of the Island School looking for suspects involved in a shooting as part of a training exercise.
An officer crouched down pointing a gun beyond the camera while shouting something
A constable tries to get a clearer look into a classroom where a suspect is holding people hostage, as part of a training exercise at the Toronto Island School.
A gun replica gun lies on the floor, an officers boots can be seen in the background.
The gun of the 'suspect' on the floor after he is detained by officers in a training exercise held at the Island School.
A man lying on the floor with his eyes closed, around him officer are running ahead.
Officers participate in an active shooter lockdown training exercise.
Officers in a circle looking serious as one speaks.
Officers debrief after the exercise.
TPS crest watermark