Sheriffs run ‘active shooter drill’ in Granville

B y Jaime Thomas

A dozen special responders piled inside Mary J. Tanner school on Monday and began methodically checking to see that every door was locked and the hallways were clear.

Their goal: to find and debilitate an active shooter and then de-escalate a hostage situation. The SERT (Sheriff Emergency Response Team,) armed and dressed in full gear, was conducting one of two active drills to take place in Granville this week. The men later went to Granville Elementary School and played out a similar scenario.

The goal of their exercise was to give school staff, police and students the best possible idea of how to respond in a real version of such an event.

“It allows us to refine our tactics, and it allows them to rehearse their safety plan,” said Captain Bryn Reynolds, road patrol supervisor for the sheriff’s department.

The officers drove to the back of the school and upon entering, searched throughout in the same manner they would in an actual scenario. Because the teachers were prepared as they should have been, the sheriffs were unable to see in the classrooms.

Building principal Diane Dumas said although her teachers practiced similar drills ahead of time, this exercise allowed the police to understand the layout of the school and helped staff see where they can make safety improvements.

“It eases everybody’s mind. It’s really worthwhile to find tweaks we have to make,” Dumas said. Two teachers realized they hadn’t locked their doors properly, for example, while others decided to rearrange their classroom after the drill. Both Dumas and Superintendent Mark Bessen said no one would have known these holes existed otherwise.

“You set up a plan the best you can, but you don’t get some of the cues they’re looking for. This way you can make things better in the future,” Bessen said. “We’ve already modified the safety plan, and we’re continuing to modify the safety plan based on what the team saw on the ground.”

What officials also hope to achieve through this drill is teaching the students to not be afraid of the officers in their special gear, but to look to them for help.

“We look a little different than we normally do, and I’m going to tell you why. I wanted you guys to be able to see us in our uniform, so if something happens for real, you won’t be scared of us,” Reynolds told the students in an assembly following the exercise. He then demonstrated various gear and answered students’ questions.

Dumas said she previously conducted the active shooter drill once each school year, and she now plans on having one at least once every quarter.

“It’s all about allowing the kids to not be overwhelmed,” she said. Reynolds said the SERT has done this drill in a number of area schools, and he hopes to practice in all the schools in Washington County if they reach out to him.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , ,

Hartford schools on alert after ‘not specific’ threats

Hartford Central School

By Krystle S. Morey Hartford Central School District officials are on high alert following the discovery of two threats against […]

Flat Iron falls

DSC_0054

By Matthew Saari As the Whitehall Village Board was proceeding with steps to demolish the decrepit building at 160 Main […]

Granville school wrestles with new logo

GCS logo

By Krystle S. Morey After gracing sports uniforms and yearbooks of the Granville Golden Horde for decades, the infamous Mongolian […]

Police proponents, opponents survey

The entrance to the Whitehall Police Station.

By Matthew Saari If there’s a strong push to disband the Whitehall Police Department to reduce village taxes, there’s an […]

North Country Freepress – 05/18/18

FreePress_5_18_18.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 05/18/18

Lakes_5_18_18.pdf-web.pdf

Northshire Freepress – 05/18/18

Northshire_5_19_18.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 05/17/18

Should Whitehall retain its police department?

The entrance to the Whitehall Police Station.

By Matthew Saari Should the village of Whitehall continue having its own police department? It’s a controversial question that has […]

DWI-charged teacher will return to her job

mary j tanner

By Krystle S. Morey The kindergarten teacher who was arrested after she allegedly drove to Mary J. Tanner School drunk […]

Village seeks ‘input on future of police department’

police

By Matthew Saari Village trustees are “seeking input on the future of the police department,” and to that end have […]

Facing complaints, village vows to act against ‘eyesores’

Main ST. Scotties (2)

By Krystle S. Morey   Upon driving or walking around the village of Granville, some eyesore properties taint the landscape. […]