KentuckyOwensboro

Training for Active Shooters in Daviess County

The once unthinkable has increasingly become a part of reality, with stories on mass shootings in America occurring again and again.

Police in Owensboro are making sure they’re prepared if one of these tragic events comes to pass.

Only 44News takes you inside the classroom, on the scene of that training.

School is out, but Meadow Lands Elementary School is still a place of learning, with lessons county staff hope never to have to put into practice.

The still of the early morning hours–shattered by simulated gunshots.

“Today’s active shooter training involved staff members from across the district as well as our partnership with Daviess County Sheriff’s Office and our district personnel,” stated Meadow Lands Principal Kevin Lowe.

It’s not the real deal, but they’re training in case it ever happens, with teachers normally spending their summers preparing lesson plans.

Now, they’re preparing to defend their students against an intruder, or one of their own.

“How many elementary teachers do we have here?” asked Retired Major General Allen Youngman, who serves as a special deputy. “You got a slightly different issue. It’s gonna be a stranger. Middle and high? It’s probably gonna be one of your kids. So how do we reduce the risk? Military tactics don’t translate to this environment but the planning surely does.”

Training for an active shooter began in Daviess County in 2015, but each year comes with adjustments.

“We analyze an incident when it happens. Something something changes and we think: we really need to reemphasize this or we need to change this,” added Youngman.

Part of that risk reduction, bringing in as much realism as possible, exposing teachers to all possible scenarios, and incorporating experience from all areas.

All meant to keep student safety top priority–in an increasingly changing world–and with reminders that it can happen here.

“We had a young man–a very troubled young man that was prepared and had a plan to take the lives of many. Fortunately that was a good day for law enforcement and for everybody and it did not occur. But it could have,” said Daviess County Sheriff Keith Cain.

Since the 1970s Kentucky has seen six incidents of gun violence in schools. Everyone here is hoping to keep Daviess County from being next on the list.

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