Law authorities train for school violence - News, Weather & Sports

Law authorities train for school violence


Law enforcement agencies in Williamson County teamed up Thursday for training on how to handle violence in schools.

Authorities responded to a report of a gunman being inside Columbia State Community College's Franklin campus as part of the drill.

"Hopefully doing these kinds of training exercises we can identify weakness areas where we need further training," said Brentwood police Chief Jeff Hughes.

Williamson County deputies, and Franklin and Brentwood police took part in the elaborate exercise.

The goal was to prepare first responders in the event a shooter attacks a school campus, with communication and collaboration being key.

"While we never want to be faced with a situation like this in our community, should we be, we'll be prepared for it," said Franklin police Chief David Rahinsky.

Situations like Virginia Tech or Newtown, CT, when police said Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary last December, has changed how police departments respond to these situations.

"Prior to Columbine, police protocol was to hold a situation and wait for SWAT to respond," said Rahinsky. "Post Columbine, the protocol was changed dramatically. Our objective now is to quickly form an entry team, go into the building and anticipate what dangers we may face, and try to eradicate the threat."

Typically during exercises like today's, other agencies would participate. But today was all about testing officers' response when seconds count.

"Regardless of which agency that officer may be from, we're going to have to formulate a team and go in and stop the threat," said Hughes. "Time means lives."

About 100 officers from the three agencies participated in today's exercise.

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