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Sheriff holds school shooting preparedness training

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School shooting preparedness day at Heritage Elementary School. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) School shooting preparedness day at Heritage Elementary School. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Simunitions are projectiles which are marking rounds rather than bullets, MCSO said. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Simunitions are projectiles which are marking rounds rather than bullets, MCSO said. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

In the wake of 11 shootings on American school grounds last month, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio ordered his deputies to take part in a school shooting preparedness day Saturday.

The event was staged at Heritage Elementary School at 6805 North 125th Ave. in Glendale. It marked the third active shooting training program for sheriff's personnel in one year.

The day-long program focused more on the training of sworn deputies who will supervise the overall law enforcement response to a school shooting where both deputies and posse are first-line responders.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office noted the 11 shootings on U.S. school grounds in January equates to about one shooting every three days somewhere in the nation last month.

"2014 got off to a bad start in terms of the number of school shootings already but fortunately, loss of life has been very low so far," Arpaio said.

Arpaio said dozens of posse personnel have already been trained in the active school shooting protocols. They were first in line for training that began shortly after the Newtown, CT,  school shooting so they could be immediately dispatched to the volunteer posse program Arpaio started in January 2013.

That posse program aimed at providing an increased law enforcement presence around schools to deter potential violence. It's still in operation today.

Saturday's training included a simulated school shooting scenario involving several young student volunteers.

Sheriff's deputies and posse participants used semi-automatic rifles and handguns utilizing simunitions, projectiles which are marking rounds rather than bullets.

Actor Steven Seagall also taught a number of course components.

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