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FBI Trains in Frederick with Shooting Simulation

"This came about in light of the Sandy Hook shooting, last December. A presidential directive came down and named the FBI to be in charge of trying to nationalize our active shooter response," said Special Agent Micheal Copeland.

FREDERICK, Md. - Events that most people don't even like to imagine, the FBI team in Baltimore is training for right here in Frederick.

"My job here today is to learn how to respond to an active shooter, anywhere, whether it be a school or a shopping mall area," said Michelle McElwee, member of the FBI Baltimore team.

They're running the Active Shooters Program to prepare and prevent for public threats.

"This came about in light of the Sandy Hook shooting, last December. A presidential directive came down and named the FBI to be in charge of trying to, in essence, nationalize our active shooter response," said Special Agent Micheal Copeland, the FBI firearms and tactical unit trainer.

Geared up and ready to go, they started the day in a vacant Frederick County school around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. With safety and weapon checks at the door, they had a short, 20 minute briefing of the day's events before getting started with simulations.

They call the life-like training "Sims." They used "simunition", or simulation ammunition filled with soap that left paint marks when FBI students got hit.

Although, no live weapons were used during training, the FBI field officers focused on scenarios where there was a bad guy and victims.

"To have an environment that we're not familiar with is also great, with the elementary school, because there are lots of rooms you can use and you can vary up the scenarios," said McElwee.

Michael Doerrer, the Frederick County Public Schools Director of Communication attended the training simulations Tuesday.

"Frederick County Public Schools works hard to maintain close and cooperative relationships with all of our law enforcement partners," said Doerrer. "Those relationships are critical when we’re thinking about how to keep our schools as safe as possible."

And safety is the primary objective for the FBI as well. Special Agent Copeland said, "To learn how to absolutely and essentially stop the killing of innocents" is the ultimate goal.

The FBI is working around the country to create and implement safety procedures with local authorities. The FBI held two day active shooter conferences in both Maryland and Delaware. These conferences included presentations, evidence issues, media portions, command post operations and behavioral analysis. 

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