Local Law Enforcements Participate in Simulation Exercise

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It looked, sounded, smelled and felt like a critical situation at Carrol High School on Friday afternoon; students running from a gunman and hysterical faculty attempting to communicate with police.

All of it was planned though, as law enforcement trained this week on what to do in the crucial minutes after the calls come in that there is a shooting at a local school.

Lt. Bobby Blankenship, with the Ozark Police Department said, "A typical amount of 50 rounds can be fired in around two-and-a-half minutes; how many lives can you lose in five minutes if you go by 50 rounds in two-and-a-half minutes?"

Using the facilities at Carrol High School during the schools fall break, the officers simulated a staggered response as it would happen in a real life situation; having patrol officers arrive one at a time all trying to gain information before entry.

Cpl. Scott Heath, with the Dothan Police Department said, "The high school was gracious enough to let us use their facility. Most of our officers have children of this age or younger and they think this could be my kids, my business, my whatever."

Several school students and faculty volunteered in the scenarios this week trying to throw different situations at the officers. As to what shooter they were looking for and where he was in the school, because in the event of the actual shooting, there will always be more questions than answers.

Heath added, "The tactics we're using today have become even more proactive, not aggressive, but proactive to the point to where they're very, very useful to combating violence in schools, and businesses."

Police say it's important to handle this training with patrol officers because in many instances they will be the first on the scene before any SWAT team can arrive. And, as Lt. Blankenship told us, minutes can mean lives.

Representatives from the Dothan Police Department and Ozark Police received the instructor training from the FBI earlier this year.

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