Homeland Security To Release Active Shooter Training Simulator for Teachers

Forest Dale Elementary School principal Deanna Pitman, right, and Carmel, (Ind.) police officer Greg DeWald welcome students as they return to the school following an intruder drill at the school in Carmel, Ind.

Forest Dale Elementary School principal Deanna Pitman, right, and Carmel, (Ind.) police officer Greg DeWald welcome students as they return to the school following an intruder drill at the school in Carmel, Ind. Michael Conroy/AP

The program is like a video game... but much darker.

In June of 2017, the Homeland Security Department released a simulator to train first responders on how to deal with an active shooter. The agency is expanding that program for an entirely different demographic: school teachers. 

Made in partnership with the Army, the program is titled EDGE or Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment. It looks and functions a lot like a video game and trainees can play the role of teacher, shooter or officer. 

But unlike a typical video game, this simulation is based on real-life experiences. Developers listened to dispatch audio from the Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech shootings to help give the program veracity.

"With teachers, they did not self-select into a role that they expect to have bullets flying at them. That's something that they did not choose for their career," said Tamara Griffith, a chief engineer on the EDGE program, to Associated Press. "Unfortunately it's becoming a reality, so we want to give them that chance to understand what options are available to them."  

The $5.6 million program will be released this spring.

To learn more, watch the video below from the AP