South GA gets special training from Dept. of Homeland Security - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South GA gets special training from Dept. of Homeland Security

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Dozens of school police, Administrators, and Emergency Management officials from across the South came to Albany Monday to try to prevent more school tragedies.

A Homeland Security training session on handling and preventing school emergencies was taught at the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

Homeland Security said they want to reach out with this training to communities in small, rural areas, that could be the most vulnerable.

Hoping to prevent any more tragedies like the December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in which 26 people were killed, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has five law enforcement instructors touring the nation teaching crisis management for school incidents.

"We can't prevent what's happened in the past. We can only prevent what could happen in the future.  And we hope that bringing this class to different communities around the nation is we can save some lives," says Homeland Security Instructor Scott Lowry.

After several deadly school and university attacks in recent years, one thing law enforcement is stressing is that it could happen anywhere.  That's why dozens of law enforcement and school officials attended today's training.

Ray Chumbler with the Marshall County Sheriff's Office drove 8 hours from Kentucky to Albany to attend.

"Everybody has potential, regardless of how big or how small your school is," says Chumbler. "What part of town it's in, or if you are in the country, the potential is always there."

Students learned profiles of people and groups that could launch deadly school attacks, and how to handle the incident.

"Any type of problems you have in your community, whether it's gun related, or drug related, or violence related, if it's in your community you are going to have it in your schools," says Chumbler.

Lowry summed up the program by saying, "We want to create that mindset for people within the school district and in the community that they are prepared and ready to react if something bad does happen."

Instructors say schools are not especially targeted in attacks, but when these deadly incidents happen in schools, they get much more attention.

Homeland Security says 23 percent of the country's total student population attend smaller, rural schools, where emergency responders often have limited resources.