Harris County sheriff's deputies train for school shooters

HARRIS COUNTY, GA (WTVM) - On Friday, sheriff's deputies turned one local high school into a simulation crime scene.

Just one week after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary killed 26 students and staff, officials are training to keep the schools in their community safe.

Active shooter training was a day deputies were able to get a hands-on experience of what to do if there was a shooter in the school.

The training day was scheduled months ago, but now, last week's tragedy in Connecticut shows how important it is for deputies like Lieutenant Kyle Senette to be prepared for anything.

"The tragedy in Connecticut brought a lot to reality due to the fact that I have small children in the school system. It is something that never needs to happen to a child," said Senette.

Sheriff Mike Jolley says in the past, law enforcement was trained to wait for the swat team if there was an active shooter in a building, but he says things have changed.

"Now, because every 30 seconds there is an innocent killed in this type of thing, now we train to get there, go in, and eliminate the threat whether you are one deputy or two deputies," said Jolley.

At the training, firecrackers were put off in a trash can to represent gun fire, deputies then had to run through the school and determine who was a mock student or shooter. Using simunition guns with bullets similar to paintball pellets the deputy and shooter face off, and the deputy makes an arrest in the end.

"When you come into this situation, it's chaotic. There are a lot of innocent people that are going to be here. So, they have to keep their wits about them, and they have to be the people that are in charge," said Jolley.

Harris County schools were on winter break on Friday. So, no one was in the building during the training.

Senette says he hopes this shows parents they are doing everything possible to make sure their children are safe.

"It helps us all be more prepared which in turn helps the community to protect the children, to protect the citizens, to protect anyone," said Senette.

Sheriff Jolley says in January, he is planning in sitting down with the superintendent of the Harris County School District and the school board members so they all can go over the emergency response plans and talk about the possibly of placing deputies in each school.

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