Sheriff’s offices conduct active shooter scenarios at schools
As a jury in Broward County decides the fate of Scot Peterson, the former school resource officer at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School for his actions on the day of the Parkland shooting, law enforcement agencies in our area are preparing this week in the event an active shooter scenario happens on a school campus there.
On the campus of John Carroll High School in Fort Pierce, loud bangs are heard and deputies spring into action.
This is part of an active shooter drill.
St. Lucie County School Resource Deputy K9 handler Brittany Duren and SWAT detective Randy Walker are first on the scene.
They enter a music room, spot the threat and neutralize it.
“Tactical training in a real-life scenario for every deputy that works in the Sheriff’s Office," Lt. Keith Pearson said.
Pearson said in wake of Parkland and the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, one of Sheriff Ken Mascara’s top priorities for his agency is school safety and security.
“One of the biggest things is the safety of our kids," Pearson said.
While not wanting to criticize other agencies for their responses during school crises, Pearson said one of "our expectations at the sheriff’s office is to eliminate the threat. You go, you don’t wait," Pearson said.
Deputies are put through a number of scenarios on the campus, including a final exam after months of training leading up to the active shooter drill.
Some scenarios required discipline and not pulling the trigger when the bad guy surrendered.
It was also important to have situations where deputies were not familiar with one another, working in different divisions. "But in the event something would happen, we are there to respond, and everybody at the sheriff's office is prepared to respond," Pearson said. "We want to make sure they've had that mental preparation and they know our expectations and they know this is what we're going to do."
John Carroll administrators said they're grateful for the sheriff's office work to keep the campus safe and happy to help the Sheriff's office with their summer training.
The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office is not the only agency getting ready for the new school year.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office will conduct an active shooter drill Thursday at South Fork High School.
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