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Onondaga County sheriff’s deputies train for active shooter situation

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News File Photo
Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway (left) in North Syracuse in 2017.

Deputies with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office have been going through active shooter training for the past few months. Officials said they are also open to training civilians on how they should react to such an event.

Sheriff Gene Conway said the purpose of the training is to have deputies able to respond to an active shooter situation.

"Should we receive a call to a location, those deputies have all received the same training and each one is ready," Conway said.

They use the New York State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany, which has different scenarios including a school classroom, hallway and cafeteria.

“We’ve been utilizing that just because of its proximity to us and the fact that we don’t have to incur any costs,” Conway said. “Many of our own personnel are considered trainers.”

Conway said any individuals or groups interested in deputies training them for an active shooter situation can call the sheriff’s office. He said he likes the “run, hide, fight” method for civilians because it’s simple to remember.

“Can I run, can I hide, or do I need to fight if those first two options aren’t there?” Conway said.

Following the latest high school shooting in Florida, Conway said he would be careful about encouraging gun owners to carry their weapons more in public.

“If someone doesn’t have the level of training that I feel would be necessary to bring out a weapon and be prepared to shoot at someone, then more times than not, that weapon is going to be used against them,” Conway said.

With Florida still fresh on people’s minds, he said people tend to take the time to learn and prepare themselves more for a worst case scenario.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.