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Cumberland Deputies Participate In Active Shooter Training

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cumberland Deputies Participate In Active Shooter Training

The Cumberland County Sheriff Department feels more prepared for an active shooter incident.

That’s according to Sergeant Gary Howard. During fall break this week deputies participated in an intense active shooter training at Homestead Elementary. He said high school students volunteered to take part in the training, creating a realistic experience.

“It was a very important way of training so that it brought right into our mind that there are going to be children all around us if there were an active shooter situation occurring in the school,” Howard said. “So we would want to be able to respond to that in such a way that we can find a threat, neutralize the threat, and then care for the wounded in those schools and so forth.”

Howard said most of the participating students from Cumberland County and Stone Memorial High Schools are taking criminal justice courses. Reviewing strategies, learning about previous school shootings, and role playing were included in the crisis course.

Other key training factors includes training officers how to control their emotions, focus, and breathing during an intense situation. Howard said during role play exercises there is a shooter character, defending officers, and the students as innocent bystanders.

“The officers are armed with realistic weapons that shoot simunition, and then you have the shooter that is actually shooting off blanks that’s got the sound of a realistic weapon fire,” Howard said. “So the situation feels real when they’re coming through that.”

The Cumberland Sheriff’s Department has included students in their intense active shooter training for five years. Howard said the better prepared law enforcement is the better officers can respond to a situation.

“At this point and time we have had so many active shooter crisis that are occurring across our nation,” Howard said. “Well we’re here in Cumberland County and nobody ever thinks its gonna happen in a small rural place, but we’ve looked at statistics nation wide and we see that they happen in small places, big places-it doesn’t matter, we’re not immune.”


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