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Lockdown drills prepare officers for the worst

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Grayson Sheriff’s Department holds drills at GCHS to look for security vulnerabilities

By Shaina Stockton

INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County public school system has partnered with local law enforcement in recent years to further develop and strengthen security measures for students’ well-being.

In the interest of being prepared for worst case scenarios, a plan of action for any and all threats are consistently discussed. Such was the case for a recent lockdown drill that was held by the county’s tactical team at Grayson County High School.

The active shooter drill allowed members of the tactical team to spot any security flaws and make necessary changes to the school system’s planned response to a real-life active shooter scenario. According to School Resource Officer Vernon Landreth, the drill was a success.

“During an active shooter drill, we pretend to be the perpetrator. We try to find a way in, and we try to find targets inside,” Landreth explained.

At the conclusion of the drill, Landreth reported that no active targets were seen.

“The teachers and the kids took the drill very seriously,” said Robbie Patton, school principal.

Trainings like these are held at the school according to the school’s schedule. Landreth explained that fire trainings are mandated by the state; and the team always holds at least two lockdown drills per year.

Active shooter training is just one of many different scenarios that the team addresses. There are plans in place for a variety of different events, including bomb threats, dangerous weather conditions, fire, poisoning and other scenarios. Instructions and locations are discussed and developed for students, parents and school staff.

“We train for anything that could happen in the community that would have an impact on [the school],” said Landreth. “After these trainings, we hold debriefings to discuss anything that can be improved.”