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Making ready for the unthinkable — county companies practice energetic school-shooter situations

Legislation enforcement companies and first responders from throughout the county have been at College Excessive Faculty all through the day Friday engaged on their methods, techniques and communications within the occasion of an active-shooter state of affairs. College students weren’t in class throughout the drill on account of an expert studying and school senate day.

Monongalia County Sheriff Perry Palmer mentioned they’ve been fascinated about holding a county-wide coaching since final 12 months, after a number of faculty shootings in different areas of the nation.

Palmer mentioned his division contacted Adam Henkins, who’s in command of security with the Monongalia County Board of Training, to coordinate the coaching.

“He mentioned the college board can be on board, undoubtedly, with something we wished to do,” Palmer mentioned. “So, then we reached out to all the opposite municipalities and departments and got here collectively.

“Everyone brings an experience, so we met — had three or 4 conferences — obtained collectively and determined this might be factor for the entire county,” Palmer mentioned.

Particular particulars on the coaching and drills couldn’t be divulged, however Cpt. Swain, with the College Police Division, mentioned usually, throughout the train they have been attempting to get “a baseline coaching to ensure everyone is collectively and understands what’s happening and the way we work collectively. So, if an active-shooter state of affairs does occur, all of the companies that will reply are going to know how we work collectively to efficiently get rid of no matter menace now we have.”

Officers on scene did talk about a useful gizmo at UHS that may present them with key intelligence throughout any type of emergency within the faculty. The MECCA 911 dispatch heart, in addition to its cellular command unit, has the flexibility to faucet into the video surveillance cameras at the highschool to get real-time views on the place they should focus their efforts.

Morgantown Police Chief Eric Powell mentioned that sort of knowledge is important for legislation enforcement to have on scene on the time of an incident.

“It actually offers us the chance to remotely see what’s going on extra exactly and tackle a selected state of affairs inside an space that we is probably not aware of proper off the bat,” Powell mentioned. “That approach we will extra shortly go to the precise menace and meet it head-on and never should be looking out and attempting to determine it out as we undergo.”

All through the coaching day, groups have been despatched into the college with coaching weapons. Some groups got help utilizing the cameras and a few have been left to navigate with out them since not all colleges within the county are geared up with the higher-level cameras.

Palmer reiterated the significance of getting all companies that could possibly be concerned or referred to as to the scene throughout an active-shooter situation — MECCA 911, Mon EMS and all of the Mon County legislation enforcement companies — coaching collectively.

“Like I mentioned, everyone brings an experience that one other division could not know,” he mentioned. “So, with everyone being on scene and with security individuals concerned, they are going to be capable to return over issues later to see what must be improved, what works good, and proceed to do that.”

Powell mentioned MPD is working with the BOE and others to attempt to facilitate one other active-shooter drill however couldn’t reveal a lot right now, as the main points haven’t been finalized. He did say the placement they’re for the subsequent coaching is not going to be geared up with the identical digicam system, which is able to give them alternative to undergo the situation with out that added dimension.

Further coaching will even present one other alternative for companies to follow how they reply and work together with each other whereas evaluating the issues they’re missing, the issues they’re good at, and consider how they react and reply, he mentioned.

“The higher off we’re and the extra acquainted we’re with everyone working collectively, the extra profitable we will probably be in protecting all of our college students, college and employees secure,” Swain agreed. “The extra we’re in a position to do it, the higher off we’re going to be.”

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