Law enforcement agencies "refocus" training in wake of Orlando shooting

Published: Jun. 14, 2016 at 8:27 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2016 at 9:32 PM EDT
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CHAPIN, SC (WIS) - Midlands first responders say they may want to "refocus" as they take lessons from the Orlando attack. Civilian and military teams tried to prepare on Tuesday for disaster in an active shooter drill in Chapin.

RELATED: See photos of the tragic shooting in Orlando.

The exercise at Chapin Alternative Academy has been scheduled for weeks, but it has taken on some pretty stark significance after what happened Saturday night.

The scenario was a familiar one, a disgruntled worker, a potentially dangerous scene, and victims in need of evacuation and medical help.

It was hosted by the Lexington County Sheriff's Department and brought in Lexington and Columbia firefighters, Irmo police, but also military police from the South Carolina National Guard getting their first taste of this kind of civilian response, as distinct from their normal combat training.

It was also the first drill of its kind after the Orlando shootings, which didn't happen in a school or church, but in a nightclub -- offering a potentially new challenge for law-enforcement.

"Obviously, nightclubs are brand-new on the radar so, this time last year after Charleston we went through, churches had a lot of requests," Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. "We partnered with the FBI to really do some workplace type responses. So, as these other events come up, I'm sure there will be an opportunity to spread this training out."

Koon says in coming months, he hopes to draw lessons from the Orlando attack and that law enforcement is poised to refocus in response to new threats.

In Lexington County, the sheriff's department expects to do more of these drills as we get closer to the beginning of school in the fall.

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