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Sheriff's Office trains for school shooting scenario

Although students might be out for winter break this week, local law enforcement are spending this time training for an "active shooter" scenario in school hallways and classrooms.

On Tuesday, deputies and investigators from the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership and coordination with Rockdale County Public Schools, participated in training focused on responding to a school shooting.

The first portion of the training, held at General Ray Davis Middle School, included a presentation by Special Agent in Charge Wayne Smith with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The presentation gave an overview of mass shootings and covered case studies of historical incidents including several school shootings. Following the presentation, deputies ran through tactical drills inside the hallways and classrooms of the school to simulate various active shooter scenarios.

“This was a great opportunity for us to focus on the safety of Rockdale County students and teachers in the event of a school shooting,” said Sheriff Eric Levett. “We hope that we never have to use this sort of training, but we are going to ensure that our deputies have the knowledge and tactical skills to respond to a worst case scenario.”

Overall, 40 deputies and investigators from the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office participated in the training. Participants came from various divisions and units including the Criminal Investigations Division, Uniform Patrol Division and the Warrants & Civil Division. The Community-Oriented Policing (COPS) Unit, which includes all School Resource Officers, was also included in the training. Several Rockdale County Public Schools’ administrators were in attendance as well, and were able to observe several of the scenarios.

During the school shooting training, the RCSO Mobile Command Vehicle was also set up in the school parking lot. The Mobile Command Vehicle team members were able to practice the setup/breakdown process and ensure functionality of the equipment onboard as if they were responding to an actual emergency deployment.