Active shooter drill in Buffalo helps law enforcement, educators better prepare


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Multiple law enforcement agencies swarmed a school on Buffalo’s East Side.

Police cars raced to the scene.

An Erie County Sheriff’s helicopter hovered above.

A SWAT team moved in the front door as the injured were whisked away for treatment.

Inside, an active shooter posing a clear danger to anyone in the crosshairs.

Thankfully, this was only a drill.

But it’s a frightening scenario that has played out in real-life across the globe.

“God forbid one of these instances ever did occur you would have different jurisdictions meshing together to bring a successful conclusion to it,” said Buffalo Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo.

The active shooter simulation took place Wednesday at Buffalo Elementary School of Technology on the South Division street in the shadow of downtown Buffalo.

Buffalo police — along with several other law enforcement agencies — honed their tactical skills, drilling for the unthinkable.

It’s a chance for law enforcement and educators to better prepare.

“These events are always choreographed on paper first so that number one, safety is the main priority,” said Rinaldo.

In addition to law enforcement agencies, about 30 -40 school staffers participated in the simulation.

For schools, this goes beyond the normal lockdown and shelter in place drills that occur throughout the year.

“This is taking it the one step further to actually show an actual active shooter, critical response situation,” said Kevin Eberle, chief operating officer for Buffalo Public Schools.

It’s a chance to work on plans already in place by different law enforcement agencies, using a seamless response.

“You look at their plan. You look at what their response to these things would be, and you come up with one plan for all agencies so that it can be executed seamlessly,” Rinaldo said.

The entire event was recorded and will be used for training.

At the end of the day stakeholders know there’s something to be learned — something that could possibly save lives.

“Looking at what worked. What didn’t work, and how we can always make the plans better,” Rinaldo explained.

“It’s definitely beyond just a drill. We’ll debrief and we’ll continue our collaboration with the police department and the Buffalo schools and continue on,” said Eberle. “Learn from what we see today and continue on with further training.”

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