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Businesses, churches clamoring for active shooter training from Orchard Park police

Requests for active shooter training have "exploded" in Orchard Park this week, after mass shootings at a Texas church and in a California small town this month.

"The requests for security training and active shooter training and assessments by businesses and churches exploded this week," Orchard Park police Chief Mark Pacholec told Town Board members Wednesday night, and he added, "This is going to be a problem."

Active shooter training prepares people how to respond to someone who is trying to kill people in a confined area, such as an office or a church.

There are two officers certified to do safety assessments and only one member of the force is certified to do large scale assessments, he said. There are two active shooter instructors on the department, not enough to handle the demand in a timely manner, he indicated.

Police Chief Mark Pacholec

"It's going to incur some serious overtime," the chief said.

When a board member asked why the businesses don't call Erie County, Pacholec said, "It's our town and our businesses."

He said one of the active shooter instructors works evenings and one works days, and one will be off for three weeks in the next six weeks.

"I'm the only one who can do large scale and federal assessments, and I don't have the time," Pacholec said.

He said active shooter training can only be done by certified active shooter instructors and assessments can only be done by someone who has been certified.

Councilman Michael Sherry said he thought New York State should be providing the training and assessments.

"It can't be just our community," he said. "The state should be providing it, even as they provide the training initially."

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