Realistic shooting drill prepares Lee Co. law enforcers -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Realistic shooting drill prepares Lee Co. law enforcers


Agencies throughout Lee County responded to a multiple shooter drill at an elementary school. Organizers made sure it included all the elements law enforcers could face during a real shooting.

The halls of Twin Oaks Elementary school became the scene of multiple shooters and two bombs.

This is the first time the Lee County Sheriff's Office, Leesburg Police Department, Fire and EMS have all worked together for this type of active shooter drill.

"We wanted to make it a large scale event this time, because this is probably what's going to happen from what we're seeing across the nation. We hope we never need this, but we want to train for it incase we do or somebody close to us needs us," said Colonel Chris Owens with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Although this drill has been in the works for months, yesterday's shooting in Oregon proves training like this is imperative. That incident was the 74th school shooting since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary school in December 2012.

"Seems like here lately it's happening more often. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when something may happen to our community. And we want to be as ready as we can be," said Bobby Watkins, the Lee County Public Safety Director.

Volunteers posed as scared and hurt victims, and emotional parents demanding answers.

"There's a bad guy in there and there's victims in there. Now we've got distraught parents showing up concerned. And they have a right to be concerned and they want to know. And you've got to deal with that," said Major Bill Berry, the ADDU Commander.

Berry evaluated the entire response from the command post. "It's basically just to give an outside opinion of things that I saw or heard and what they did good and what they could of done a little bit better. Or next time if it's for real, then we learned from this training scenario."

"Our idea for the whole thing was to make sure that we went through an event, went through the training and understood what some of our shortfalls are so we can correct those now in training," said Col. Owens.

A training scenario that gives these law enforcers the experience they need to be ready if tragedy strikes.

The Marine Corps Logistics Base had their bomb unit and bomb dog on hand for the training. Drills were held this morning and this afternoon.


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