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How do local cops, school officials prepare for threats like shootings?

In the wake of numerous school shootings across the United States, law enforcement agencies in Wayne County have been working diligently to improve their response to potential school threats. Sheriff Rob Milby, who recognized the increasing danger to student safety, has been instrumental in sending local officers to national active shooter training programs.

These programs simulate high-pressure situations to train officers on how to react effectively during an active shooter event. Over the years, police drills have been conducted in nearly every school district, business, church, and county office location throughout Wayne County, aiming to familiarize officers with building layouts and possible scenarios that can arise during an active shooter situation.

Sheriff Milby emphasized the importance of ongoing and adaptive training, which has proved life-saving in certain instances in a recent conversation with the Times of Wayne County. For example, the quick response and training of officers during the Covenant School shooting in Tennessee contributed to a swift resolution, with the attacker neutralized in just 14 minutes.

In contrast, a lack of coordinated response during the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, resulted in a tragic outcome, highlighting the need for comprehensive training in active shooter situations.

Wayne County deputies, local police departments, State Police, probation officers, and school administrators all receive basic response training. In the event of a threat, the first agency to respond takes the lead, with clear communication and expectations established between agencies.

School Response Officers (SROs) play a crucial role in this system, with eight currently in place and 11 more positions yet to be filled. SROs are trained to identify potential students in crisis and address problems within schools.

Mandatory lockdown drills are conducted in schools, while all officers carry sidearms and patrol rifles, including AR15 type weapons, in their vehicles. Officers are trained to move toward the sound of gunshots and to discern threats from non-threats in high-pressure situations.

Wayne County law enforcement agencies continue to invest in training and equipment to better prepare for and respond to school threats, ensuring the safety of students and staff.