The Hudson County Regional SWAT Team led an active shooter drill at the Anna L. Klein Elementary School in Guttenberg, acting out what would happen in the event that an active shooter entered the building and took a hostage.
The last active shooter drill in Hudson County was at St. Peter’s Prep in April, and since then, there have been two major mass shootings that occurred within one week of each other in August at a Walmart in El, Paso, Texas and a business district in Dayton, Ohio.
This morning, approximately 40 Hudson County Regional SWAT Team members participated, along with law enforcement personnel from Guttenberg, North Bergen and West New York.
After they took down the shooter, multiple school officials, including counselors and teachers, were treated for their “wounds” from the many Emergency Medical Services from different municipalities such as Weehawken, Union City and Jersey City.
Hudson County Regional SWAT Team Commander Sgt. Carlos Clavijo, took some time from overseeing the operation to talk about the day’s events and the variety of police organizations that took part.
“Today, we had a big active shooter drill, and we involved the crisis negotiations team, regional SWAT Team, [Hudson County Sheriff’s Office] K9 Unit and Rescue Task Force. There was an active shooter on one side of the building, and then there was a hostage situation on the other side,” said Clavijo.
Similar to what Jersey City Police Safety Director James Shea told us in the spring, Clavijo said these types of drill are necessary given the current state of affairs in the country.
“Unfortunately, in the world that we are living in now it is more common than it was, say, in the 1980s and 1990s, but nowadays we have to prepare not only the tactical team but also the first responders from the municipalities. This is something that we all have to experience, and God for bid there’s a situation [at least] we are prepared for it,” Clavijo stated.
After the drill’s completion, Clavijo said that he, along with other personnel leaders, would be conducting a group debriefing to review the action and go over the pros and cons of how all the units worked collaboratively during the operation.