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RCMP officers in Nanaimo learn how to deal with an active shooter

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An active shooter inside a building is a worst-case scenario RCMP have to be ready for.

Several officers from Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland took part in Immediate Action Rapid Deployment (IARD) training on Thursday at the former Dufferin Elementary School in Nanaimo.

They advanced down the hallway with their guns drawn, and confronted a masked man holding a fake weapon.

Constable Gary O’Brien says the training teaches officers how to safety enter buildings and deal with threats as quickly as possible.

Faced with a gunman inside a building, he says their members used to call in the Emergency Response Team and wait outside.

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O’Brien says there are up to 40 RCMP officers in Nanaimo trained in IARD, and it’s a training priority in BC and across Canada.

He says the closest they’ve come to having to use the training in real life was the shooting at the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo last spring, when two men were killed and two others were injured.

Kevin Addison, the suspect in that case, is due in court next week.

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