BOHEMIA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Suffolk County police on Saturday launched a training exercise simulating a gunman opening fire in a school.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, it is training no officer wants to use, but if a gunman enters a school, Suffolk County police Inspector Aristides Mojica said the first officers on the scene have a very big job.

“The first officers to be arriving on the scene are going to have to take steps to neutralize the threat to students and staff,” Mojica said. “What do you do if you encounter the gunman?”

The emergency drill at Connetquot High School in Bohemia, Long Island, began around 8 a.m. It included dozens of officers.

It may have been only a drill, but it was very realistic with the sounds of gunfire and children screaming.

The officers used paintball guns and shotguns without bullets. Children actors pretended to be shot on the ground, as officers in bulletproof vests stormed into the school.

“The intensity; the realness of it — you’re running through the hallways as the adrenalin is flowing; as if it is a real-life scenario,” said Officer Matthew DiMatteo.

Ryan McCullough, 17, also participated.

“It is a little scary that we have to do this, I mean, now in the day and age, it has to be done,” he said.

Mojica said the drill was planned after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December.

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