Cobb County

Cobb police say active shooter training key to responding to emergencies

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — At the Cobb County Police Department, every single officer is required to participate in active shooter training. Recruits are too.

The training is realistic because active shootings have become so common in this nation.

From the sound of gunfire to the sight of victims who are clearly injured, active shooter training for Cobb County police officers, first responders and other agencies is more realistic than it’s ever been.

“Psychologically, you want it as close to the real thing as possible so when officers are doing it they are confident,” Cobb County Police Chief Stuart Vanhoozer said.

“This year we had makeup artists that were actually able to make wounds and injuries on people,” Sgt. Eric Smith with the Cobb County Police Department said.

Some volunteers have backgrounds in acting making it that much more real for officers.

“The training and the equipment over the years has really gotten better,” Vanhoozer said.


The chief told Channel 2 Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell that there would be problems if his officers didn’t train in extremely realistic situations.

“The confidence level would be lower therefore the speed would be lower and the effectiveness would be lower,” Vanhoozer said.

While training is key, Vanhoozer said his department’s top priority is prevention.

“We have a lot of programs and methods and processes that help us prevent them,” Vanhoozer said. “The one that I’m thinking of in particular was truly troubling and I do believe that we stopped it.”

Cobb police just spent six days training every single officer. They train once a year.

Other agencies in the county participate as well.


Michele Newell

Michele Newell, WSB-TV

Michele Newell has been part of the WSB-TV family since November 2021. Before moving to Atlanta, Michele worked at TV news stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio and Steubenville, Ohio.

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