ATLANTA - It's a common misconception, Atlanta Police Department Sergeant Neil Welch said in regards to officers waiting on the SWAT Team to handle an active shooter situation.
"We train our officers that the first ones on the scene are supposed to take lead," Welch said. "Seconds equal lives."
Welch said APD the protocol is an immediate action response.
"Basically we train our officers to figure out what the priority is...Is it stopping the gunman? Is it helping those wounded?" Welch said. "But if there are lives at stake, getting to the gunman is at the top of the priority list."
Welch said the goal is to end the situation as fast as possible.
"We have to work together though because often times there isn't an officer already on site," Welch said. "People need to prepare themselves for a situation like this."
Welch said one of the biggest mistakes is the "hide and hope" or "playing dead" method.
"Doing something is better than doing nothing, and doing nothing is definitely not acceptable," Welch said.
FOX 5 News also spoke with former Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison who said he was stunned to see how the deputy responded to the Florida shooting.
"That is in no way how officers are trained to respond," Garrison said.
After the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado in 1999, Garrison said law enforcement tactics changed drastically.
"We used to train them to wait for backup, but now that's not the case," Garrison said. "What happened down there is truly heartbreaking, but I want to reassure people here in our community that that is in no way a reflection of how officers are trained. We took an oath and if that means running towards the gunfire, that's what we do."