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East Tennessee law enforcement officials prepared for the worst possible scenario last week in Roane County High School’s empty hallways.
An active shooter training course was presented by Government Training Institute out of Barnwell, S.C. and hosted by the Roane County Sheriff’s Office to help protect schools, including those without student resource officers.
“Our children are the most precious commodity we have (but) it is not only for the children but all of us,” said Roane County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Rick Baker.
“What we are trying to do is, because we don’t have an SRO in all schools, we need to train everyone we possibly can for the security of the school.”
Participants decked out in SWAT gear combed the school hallways in different scenarios, including two disgruntled former employees who had started shooting in the school.
Trainers critiqued how the trainees searched the L-shaped hallways and reacted to the encounters with the shooters.
One would-be assailant said he never even got a shot off before he was taken down as the men turned a corner and saw him.
Trainer Phil Davis went down the hall in the pack of men in the training and ran through tips of what some could do better in a real life scenario.
“The pace has to be picked up because every time the gun is going off, someone is dying, someone is injured,” he said prior to one scenario.
Baker said enhancing the training of the county despite budget constraints is a goal of Sheriff Jack Stockton.
The course offered last week was a trainer course that will enable the Roane County Sheriff’s Office to plan similar training events to offer to other area agencies.
Baker said Stockton speaks of the five “P’s” of life: prior preparation prevents poor performance.”
Other agencies participating in the active shooter event were Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Oak Ridge Police Department, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Sevierville Police Department, Cocke County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and Blount County Sheriff’s Office.