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School administrators and employees in the Lincoln County R-III School District will experience active shooter drills this semester in partnership with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department. The first collaborative drill will take place at Troy Buchanan High School on August 14, 2013. All of the active shooter drills will occur in all of the R-III District’s schools when students are not present. Lincoln County R-III Superintendent Mark Penny believes this is a win-win for the community.
“Conducting active shooter drills will give the school staff the tools they need in the event of an active shooter and provide valuable experience for the law enforcement officers that will respond,” he said. Penny said the schools have to play an active role in preparing for school violence. “Practice won’t make perfect in this type of situation, but it will save lives.”
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department will use flash bangs and blank practice rounds to simulate gunshots. Lieutenant Andy Binder said the Sheriff’s Department team will have an officer perpetrator and the remaining team members will practice running toward the shots and eliminating the suspect. A specialized safety officer will attend each training session to ensure no live ammunition is used and the training environment is safe.
“I will raise the full force of the Sheriff’s Office for anyone who threatens to harm the school or any person within,” said Sheriff John Cottle. “We conduct in concert with school officials to sharpen our tactical skills. In addition, we present a real-life scenario to help teachers function under a stressful condition.” Penny praised Sheriff Cottle’s proactive approach to school safety and security. Troy and Moscow Mills Police Departments will also be involved in the active shooter drills.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department also plans to provide “Understanding and Planning for School Bombing Incidents” training to the Lincoln County R-III faculty and staff during the course of the year. This is free training from the Department of Homeland Security.