Preparing for an active shooter situation

Posted at 1:25 PM, May 23, 2016

If an active shooter or use of force situation arises, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers will be properly trained.

Monday the homeland security officers invited 7 Eyewitness News to the Niagara Gun Range in Wheatfield for a look at how they train.

Before going into the simulator, officers discussed when they can use force and when they can't, along with some court cases that have set the standard.

After laying down the ground rules and talking about the basics, officers demonstrated an active shooter scenario at a movie theater in the brand new simulator.

Officers say you can never be 100% ready but the more you practice and prepare the better an officer will handle themselves when a real scenario plays out.

"It's easy for everybody to look back and pull the replay on it and say okay this is why we did what we did or say you should've done this or you should've done this differently," U.S. Border and Customs Officer Steven Saraf said. "But when you're faced with somebody right in your face that isn't listening to you,that doesn't care about you,that only sees you as an obstacle to their freedom we need to react immediately."

Saraf says this simulator helps him practice keeping a clear line of communication with fellow officers while staying sharp. It's a situation he hopes he's never faced with, but if he is, he'll be properly trained.

"What we do happens in a split-second. We don't have the luxury of looking back, calling a timeout..we have to make the split-second decisions that affect the rest of our lives."