Bridgeport police came up the corridor at Cesar Batalla School on Wednesday, weapons drawn, eyes darting left and right, but the boom box a janitor had left on played a totally incongruous tune:
The contrast underscored the mission police were focused on and training for: finding an active shooter in a school. It was part of a training drill for city police and school resource officers.
"If there's an active shooter in a school, the first two officers arrive on the scene and go in to eliminate the suspect, apprehend the suspect, basically to save lives," said Bridgeport Police Lt. Paul Grech.
With Bridgeport schools closed for spring vacation, police had the run of Cesar Batalla School, moving up stairs in formation, checking classrooms.
Volunteer role players, on vacation from school, added to the exercise. One girl sprawled on her back in a hallway as if she had been wounded, but these officers could not be distracted from their quarry, the active shooter.
All school resource officers go through shooter training every quarter, said Grech, adding that regular officers go through it once a year.