Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More Law Enforcement Agencies Testing Abilities To Respond To School Shootings

(Right) First arriving Dunn Police Officer Jeff Williams assesses the situation to find victims down at the entrance to Dunn Middle School during a mock school shooting exercise conducted Saturday to test the response of Dunn emergency workers. The “victims” are volunteers from Central Carolina 's EMT class. (Below) Officials gather in Smithfield before a mock exercise begins April 10 to test Johnston County authorities ability to respond to a school shooting and hostage situation.

The exercise was led by the Johnston County Sheriff's Office. The deaths of 33 people in a shooting Monday on the campus of Virginia Tech have many wandering just how safe our children are in local schools. On April 10, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office conducted a mock hostage situation at the South Campus School in Smithfield . The daylong exercise tested the department’s response to a school shooting and hostage standoff, where chemicals were dispersed by the hostage taker. Ironically, members of the Dunn Police, Fire and EMS departments conducted their own mock school shooting and bombing on the campus of Dunn Middle School last Saturday. The mock scenario involved an upset parent shooting a deputy and taking a classroom hostage. A special response team forced their way into the school during the exercise and took control of the suspect. However, Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech was for real. Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said his job was to ensure public safety. “When it comes to students in school, deputies and others need to be prepared. We have to prepare for what might or could happen,” Bizzell told WMPM last week. In addition to the mock exercise, Johnston County deputies are assigned to all high schools. Other officers randomly walk-thru other public school buildings during school days.


Post a Comment

<< Home