THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Law enforcers must be trained to handle emergency situations everywhere, including school campuses.
Thursday night's active shooter drill at the Thomasville High School prepared officers for the worst.
It only takes one sound to change a silent hallway into a deadly shooting spree.
Fortunately this scene was a part of an active shooter drill for the Thomas County Sheriff's deputies and EMS responders.
Investigator David Godwin said, “Law enforcement across the country, they have a split second to do something, and everybody else has a lifetime to judge what they did.”
So they train four times a year to keep strategies fresh in their minds.
Lieutenant Tim Watkins said, “We're preparing for a skill we hope we'll never use.”
A skill Godwin said is better to have when not needed than to need and not have.
“I went to school here back in the 80's and I never thought of seeing a cop in these hallways. Now every school has an officer in the hallways. Times have changed people have changed,” said Godwin.
Officers incorporate new training tactics into each drill, reminding them that scenes like this are just as likely to happen here as anywhere else.
“Just because we're in Thomasville, doesn't mean it can't happen here. So officers need to know what to do and how to react if something does happen,” said Godwin.
Godwin said these drills can prevent officers from living with the burden of watching children die from an active shooter.
“They need somebody to take care of them. They need somebody to defend them. And that's what we're here for,” he said.
A determination to protect that resonates in the minds of each officer here.