Cloverdale staff and law enforcement participate in active shooter training

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Local law enforcement agencies along with staff from the Cloverdale School Corporation participated in active shooter training on Wednesday at Cloverdale Middle School. Putnam County Sheriff's Department Deputies Kyle Gibbons and Matt Biggs take part in active shooter training exercise following a presentation from training coordinator Jerrod Baugh. Several local school corporations and nearly 40 officers participated in the yearly training.

CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Community School Corporation staff recently got a peek into the amount of preparation and training that Putnam County law enforcement officials go through to keep schools safe.

With the rise in school shootings, emergency personnel go through specialized training each year, often reviewing some of the most recent cases.

Nearly 40 law enforcement officials from five police agencies, descended on Cloverdale Middle School Wednesday to spend the day doing integrated active shooter training with the Cloverdale staff.

"Not every place trains with school officials and law enforcement together. They usually train them separately," training coordinator Jerrod Baugh explained. "This is what we, with the Safe Schools Commission here in Putnam County, have seen as a great benefit for the teachers and law enforcement. Teachers know what kind of training law enforcement is getting and they know what they're training to do in a situation like that. Also, law enforcement gets to know what teachers are training to do and what their concerns are with incidents like this."

The four-hour training day consisted of a PowerPoint presentation, which covered past active shooter events as well as statistics from several other past shootings.

"That allows us to set our scenarios up using bits and pieces from those past events," Baugh said. "The PowerPoint presentation was a combination of training that everybody can benefit from."

Following the PowerPoint presentation, different scenarios were played out followed by a question-and-answer session.

Officials and staff also watched a short video that gave staff members a description of actions that they can take in the event of an active shooter.

"These things are scary in general," Baugh explained. "This gives the opportunity for these teachers to be trained and see what they might be able to do (in a situation like this). We watched a video 'Run, Hide, Fight.' It's only a six-minute video, but it says a lot. We recommend that everybody watches this video."

Following the presentation by Baugh, staff got to watch a live demo of what a active shooter situations would look like, that included students running down the hallways while officers made entry and engaging the shooter. They were also introduced to what live bullet rounds would sound like.

Officers then participated in three breakaway sessions while staff set in the classrooms as if they were students being held by a shooter while officers made entry engaging the suspect, consisting of several single officer oriented drills, as studies show that 70 percent of the time when police stop a shooter it's done by a single officer.

The three scenarios consisted of officers making entry into classrooms while engaging the shooter and how to properly clear stairs. Greencastle Police Chief Tom Sutherlin, Asst. Chief Brian Hopkins, Lt. Kevin Akers and Baugh instructed these scenario-based events.

Greencastle Police Officers Eric Vaughan (left) and Kyle Lee discuss a two-officer dynamic room clearning training exercise with coordinator Jerrod Baugh (center).

"Our training is based off of the statistics. When a single officer does go into an incident like this, 14 percent of the time the officer gets shot," Baugh said. "That's why a lot of our drills were single officer oriented. There is a good probability that you won't get shot going into one of these incidents by yourself."

These breakout sessions not only allowed law enforcement officials to do skills training, but also allowed teachers to sit in on each of the drills.

"They (the teachers and staff) get to see it and maybe get some confidence in them," Baugh said.

"We know of situations in the past and what has happened, but every future one is going to be different. The teachers need to be able to think. It's hard to write a policy of every single thing that could happen. We try to give them as much information as we can so they can make their own decision when it comes to the safety of the kids."

With the number of school shootings on the rise, law enforcement officials are constantly receiving new information and training tactics.

"Unfortunately, the amount of incidents is on the rise and every year there is always something else that comes up, but we can train to that and we should. New issue, new training skill," Baugh said.

Also participating in the day were representatives from the Greencastle Community School Corporation, South Putnam Community School Corporation, Area 30 Career Center, Eminence Community School Corporation, Ivy Tech of Greencastle, Ivy Tech Terre Haute and the Vigo County Prosecutor.

In February Baugh, Hopkins, Akers and Sutherlin along with Paramedic and Greencastle Police Officer Jerett Query will also be teaching officers trauma care that includes treating injuries that might be sustained from a shooting incident.

"We hope that parents of school children understand that we are constantly training for this," Baugh said. "We're doing something to prepare for it."

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  • Very good, very commendable.

    -- Posted by donantonioelsabio on Thu, Jan 30, 2014, at 10:49 PM
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