With the countdown on for students to return to school, Rockdale County Sheriff deputies recently got some classroom and hands-on training—a refresher course on how to handle a shooter on school campuses.
The mayhem: rapid fire, explosions and screaming children. Rockdale deputies took these dangers head on as a part of a simulated shooting at Honey Creek Elementary School in Conyers on July 16.
Rockdale students return to classes for the new school year on July 28. They are among the first school districts to head back to school in the metro Atlanta area.
“If a school shooting happens in Rockdale, we don’t want our deputies wondering if they should wait for back up, should they just go in the school. We don’t want them to be caught completely off guard,” said Sergeant Jeremy Mote, training coordinator. “If a school shooting happens, our deputies won’t be looking around saying oh crap, what should I do, they will be prepared for it.”
The training and simulation will be conducted yearly for deputies to be up-to-date on training tactics and more importantly, so they will know what to do if they are put in the middle of a school shooting incident. The first portion of the training, held at the Sheriff Department’s South Precinct, included a presentation from the department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Deputies received an overview of mass shootings and covered case studies of historical incidents including several school shootings.
Following the presentation, deputies ran through tactical drills inside the hallways and classrooms of the Honey Creek Elementary to simulate various active shooter scenarios.
“This training is a continued effort between local law enforcement and Rockdale County Public Schools to focus on keeping Rockdale County students and teachers safe in the event of a school shooting,” said Sheriff Eric J. Levett. “While we hope that we never have to utilize it, we will continue to provide our deputies with the knowledge and tactical skills necessary to respond to such an event.”
Overall, about 50 deputies, split in groups of 3 – 5 people, and investigators from the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office participated in the training. Participants came from various divisions and units such as the Criminal Investigations Division, Uniform Patrol Division and the Warrants & Civil Division.