Local law enforcement agencies ready for 'active shooter'

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Representatives from the FBI's Houston office, Harris County Sherriff's Office and Houston Police Department said their agencies are prepared to handle "active shooter" scenarios similar to the one in Manhattan on Friday.

"All HPD officers receive training in active-shooter scenarios year round. In addition, we have tactical teams equipped and prepared for any scenario in our city," a message from the Houston Police Department read.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office also trains all of its deputies to engage "active shooters."

Both HPD and the Harris County Sheriff's Office also have specially-trained response teams to deal with emergency situations that happen over an extended period of time.

"If a situation develops where a shooter was to become barricaded or have an assault rifle, we would start deploying," Capt. Paul Cordova said.

Cordova is in charge of Harris County's High Risk Operations Unit, which is comprised of eight SWAT-like officers, a coordinator/negotiator and a medic, he said.

The FBI Houston field office annually, and sometimes more often, practices real and "tabletop" scenarios with their agents and other Houston-area law enforcement.

"It's tough to be prepared for every single scenario, but we sure do go through a lot of scenarios," FBI Special Agent Shauna Dunlap said.

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