CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- When a school shooting occurs, resource officers are often the first line of defense. On Friday, Berkeley County's resource officers were trained on responding to a school shooting.
"We don't have an opportunity to practice in real life, which is good. So we have to try to create as real life as scenarios as possible to make the training as realistic and effective as we can," said David Aarons, of the Goose Creek Police Department.
In groups of two, 21 school resource officers practiced searching for a gunman hiding in a classroom.
The first phase of the training used orange toy guns without bullets, but Aarons says during the second phase of the 16-hour training they'll use guns that shoot fake bullets at 400 feet per second.
"Everyone will have to be wearing personal protective equipment like face masks and head gear. It will be real realistic during the second phase," said Aarons.
Tim Knight, the safety security officer for the district, says the more realistic the training is the better prepared officers will be. When school starts, the officers will patrol 20 of the district's middle and high schools.
"Our top priority is the safety of our students and we want our parents to know we are doing everything we can to make sure that their children are safe when they come into one of our schools," said Knight.
Knight says there's never been a shooting at any of the schools in his district and he hopes this training will help keep it that way -- for the safety of more than 30,000 kids who go to school in Berkeley County.