A private firm called Security Solutions International has been offering the two-day classes for more than a decade, in a direct response to the increasing numbers of mass shootings that have taken place since the 2001 terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, reports the Miami Herald. “It's been a crazy week, the L.A. cops, a kid stabbed 20 kids in Pennsylvania,” said SSI President Henry Morgenstern. “Unfortunately, it's only going to get worse because of the successful attacks, like Fort Hood. The incidents are alarmingly rising.”
This week, the company taught members of police department SWAT teams in four Florida cities. The yearly exercise costs $400 per officer, the fee usually covered by the police departments. Day One is strictly in the classroom; the next day is in the field. Students bring much of their own gear, but are supplied with semi-automatic weapons outfitted with paint ball-like bullets and fake bolts for their AR-15s. If someone had stumbled onto the scene this week, the sight of heavily geared officers crouching behind vehicles and trees and sprinting toward a building, with the sound of gunfire in the background, surely would have been alarming. The only giveaway that it wasn't real: Yellow and blue spots on the officers' gear where they were hit by faux ammo. “You've heard the cries about the militarization of police forces,” said Morgenstern, bent on hyperbole. “The only problem is that the people who are attacking are very well-organized and have studied the military, like at Virginia Tech,” where a student shot and killed 32 people in 2007.