Williston Basin International Airport simulates ‘active shooter’ scenario

Local News

Authorities across all jurisdictions work day in and day out to keep the public safe.

Oftentimes, that includes simulating specific scenarios to ensure the best response.

KX News got an inside look at Williston Basin International Airport, where officials there conducted an active-shooter drill.

According to FBI.gov, between 2000 and 2018, more than 200 active shooting incidents have occurred.

Typical targets are large gathering places, like airports.

“These types of trainings are important to ensure the safety of not only staff but civilians that are coming in to and from the airport. We just like to make sure they’re safe and trained and know what to do if a scenario like this is to happen,” Sgt. Detective of the Williston Police Department Danielle Hendricks said.

From start to finish, the simulation lasted about an hour beginning with a video demonstrating scenarios and what one should do if placed in that position, followed with a police briefing. Then the airport staff was asked to go back to their normal duties to wait and see if anything happens.

“This is really the first emergency exercise that we’ve had an opportunity to perform at XWA since we’ve commenced operations,” Airport Director Anthony Dudas said.

Dudas told us with this being the airport’s first scenario it helped bring the reality of such a scary situation into perspective.

“This active shooter exercise really opened our eyes to understand what an active shooter and a live firearm sounds like as it’s going off in our facility. We identified some areas where sounds don’t carry, and staff and the people that are employed here don’t necessarily have all the information to respond or react to an active shooting, so it’s great training exercise,” Dudas said.

Sgt. Detective Hendricks says although this is very serious and specific training, it was only a glimpse of how tactical things really could get.

“In a situation like this not only would our patrol officers, other agencies would assist in a scenario like this, and we’re all trained for events like this,” Hendricks said.

Hendricks says there will be more simulations in the future to continue strengthening their tactical response.

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