Robbery leads to lock-down - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Robbery leads to lock-down

October 30, 2007

Albany --  Three East Albany schools were locked down this morning following a knife point robbery.

A man was robbed at an East Albany motel, just blocks from two of the schools. School officials locked down the three schools, while making sure those students just arriving were safeguarded.

About 7:15AM, James Deilbeck said he was leaving his room at the Relax Inn on Tallulah Drive when a man with a knife came up behind him and demanded his money. Police are not sure in which direction he ran, so they called for three East Albany schools, Turner Elementary, Dougherty Middle School, and Dougherty High School, to be locked down.

At Turner Elementary School, the code red, meaning imminent danger, was put in place, while buses were unloading, and parents were dropping off students. Administrators locked the doors, while some teachers stayed outside to warn the people driving up.

"We had personnel in place to let our car pick up parents know. And the bus drivers are informed by transportation as well as they arrive," said Principal Patricia Gilbert Parker.

Schools in Georgia have to have emergency lock down plans in place, and practice them at least three times a year. Tuesday, bus drivers were ordered to skip those three schools, and continue their routes, then stay in a safe place until they were cleared to take the students to those three schools.

Parents were warned about the lockdown, and students walking to school were brought inside.

"Now when the kids are coming, you will have individuals stationed outside and inside, to make sure those who are walking can be ushered inside, and they are away from danger," said Barbara Turner, Support Services Coordinator. 

The code red lockdown at the three schools lasted for about 45 minutes, then was lifted. There have been no arrests in the armed robbery at the Relax Inn. Just after midnight, just around the corner from the Motel, another man was robbed in the parking lot of Tiny's Billiards on Thornton Drive. Tim Langford was robbed at gunpoint by two men.

Dougherty County School System officials say this morning's school lock downs went off well, but they will hold meetings with administrators to go over procedures, and see if they could improve.

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