Members of the sheriff’s department work in a team to clear a hallway at Dadeville Elementary School Monday. | Laura Pemberton
Members of the sheriff’s department work in a team to clear a hallway at Dadeville Elementary School Monday. | Laura Pemberton

Archived Story

Dadeville Elementary undergoes active shooter drill

Published 11:47am Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Members of local law enforcement held an active shooter exercise at Dadeville Elementary School Monday.

“This is the fifth county school where we’ve done this,” said Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett. “What we’re trying to do is give all local law enforcement the opportunity to become familiar with the environment. If we say there’s a shooter in the library – we want them to know where the library is.”

Members of the sheriff’s department and other local law enforcement agencies toured the building and worked together in teams to secure hallways and classrooms.

“Our objective is for all officers who respond to get a feel for the architecture, layout and floor plan of the building,” said Chief Deputy David McMichael. “You never know who’s going to respond to an incident so we want everyone possible to become familiar (with the schools).”

Officers from the sheriff’s department also met with the DES teachers and staff to answer questions and provide guidance on what to do in the event of a shooter.

“A shooting is going to happen when it’s least expected,” McMichael said. “We need a plan for every situation. The more you practice, the less intensity there will be in a real event.”

McMichael also provided teachers with statistics and facts about shootings that have occurred nationwide.

“There were 433 kids killed by shooters between 1996 and 2010,” McMichael said. “That’s why we want to have this training. This is where we need to be training.”

McMichael said training is something the sheriff’s department takes seriously, completing more than the required amount of hours annually.

“Training is a must,” McMichael said. “We want to take proactive approach. To show administration and staff we’re concerned with safety. We have been training and we’re going to continue to keep training.”

Abbett stressed the need for controlling access to the school and urged everyone to remain guarded.

“We want to be sure we stay focused on this,” Abbett said. “We want to avoid complacency.”

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