SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Friday marks one month since the elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas. Closer to home, the Sarasota Police Department is evaluating how its officers might handle a similar situation.

Several officers were dispatched to Southside Elementary School Friday morning for a training exercise they weren’t anticipating.

“We have a possible active shooter at Southside Elementary School,” the dispatcher said to start the training exercise.

Officers quickly arrived to campus for the exercise, tracked down the “armed suspect,” detained him and rendered aid to “injured victims.” The training exercise took place in a number of waves throughout the morning, each one unique from the others.

Capt. Kenneth Rainey says preparing for the worst is critical in today’s society.

“You need to be thinking, when this does happen, this is what I will do,” said Capt. Rainey. “If you are a police officer in the United States in 2022, if you are not prepared, you might be in the wrong profession. This is an assignment that is above all others. Again, it is the priority of life that is above all else, and the thought of not responding shouldn’t enter your mind.”

The captain said following the devastating school shooting in Texas, he aims to reinforce officers with the sanctity of life.

“The Sarasota Police Department adheres to a priority of life and that is instilled from our recruit officers on that police officers in and of themselves as a duty of our assignment will risk our lives for the lives of the innocent. Reinforcing that, the priority of saving lives, and in a situation such as this, time matters so our safety takes a backseat to the safety of the innocent,” he said.

Capt. Rainey said he aims to conduct similar training at all schools across the City of Sarasota.