Law Enforcement, School Have Active Shooter Drill

Lauderdale County, Miss. West Lauderdale Elementary students had an eventful last day of school as they participated in an "'active shooter' drill.

Several agencies responded and worked together, along with the school, to help resolve the mock situation and keep all of the students and faculty safe.

The announcement 'active shooter inside West Lauderdale Elementary School' went out just after 9 a.m. when officials at West Lauderdale Elementary called 911.

The school put its lock-down procedures into place and waited for law enforcement to arrive.

Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says this kind of drill is new for both law enforcement and school personnel.

"Both systems have had their own drills, have had their own preparation, have had their own plans," said Calhoun. "But this is really the first time where we have married those two and seen how they work together."

After law enforcement arrived, two separate trained active shooter teams entered the building to find the threats while the Lauderdale County SWAT team staged nearby.

Calhoun says coordinating these highly trained teams to work together brings the best possible outcome.

"You can't wait for a SWAT team to show up if you have an active shooter," Calhoun said. "You have to engage that individual as quickly and efficiently as possible with the lowest number of law enforcement officers."

As the students were brought out of the building classroom by classroom, they were all very calm. WLE principal, Rosemary Harris, credits that to the fact that the teachers explained what was going to happen to their classes.

"We've basically just told them that this is practice, so that in the event of an emergency they know what to do," said principal, Rosemary Harris.

Similar drills are being planned for other school campuses next year.


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