Thursday, April 12, 2007

School Hostage Drill Tests Law Officers, First Responders Skills

A school teacher is accused of sexually assaulting a female student. He takes his classroom hostage, dispenses chemicals that makes students and law enforcement officers sick, then starts shooting. A training exercise to test the abilities of local agencies responding to a school shooting and hostage situation was held Tuesday at the South Campus School in Smithfield . It’s the third such training exercise conducted by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office in recent years. Sheriff Steve Bizzell says it all too common to see school shootings on the national news. “My job as sheriff is 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 on Tuesday while standing outside the departments’ common post near the school. Dozens of deputies, SWAT Team members, the SBI, Johnston Memorial, Johnston County Health Department, Smithfield Fire, Smithfield and Selma EMS, and Johnston County school officials participated in the daylong training exercise. SBI hostage negotiators critiqued how the six hostage negotiators with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office handled the drill. Officials decided to conduct the drill this week since students were out of school on spring break. Johnston deputies conduct training every month, but not always to this large scale. Officials plan to conduct their next training exercise around the scenario of a flu pandemic. “Training prepares us for whatever situation there is,” Sheriff Bizzell concluded.


  • At 4:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I noticed that Clayton P.D. was not mentioned in the hostage drill column. However, on the news, I noticed that Clayton's SWAT team was also part of that drill and played a key role in containing the suspect and a peaceful apprehention. I think it is a great thing for our local law enforcement agencies to interact and co-exsist as a cohesive unit when need be.


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