Emergency Officials Practice for Code Red Situations

By: Forrest Sanders Email
By: Forrest Sanders Email

It was an event that brought the police force, fire department, EMS and park rangers into Brownsville.

But they weren't at the scene of an emergency, they were just practicing how to handle one.

After a decade of U.S. school shootings, area officials are getting a lesson in how to handle a similar situation.

It's a simple strategy, but one that the Brownsville Police are practicing to stay in control in an actual Code Red situation.

"You more than likely will have one with a long rifle, but he has to stay in the back and you have two armed with pistols. That's your searchers in the front," explained Michael Vincent, chief of the Brownsville Police Dept.

The drill is a precaution being taken in the event of a school attack similar to the 1999 Columbine massacre.

And in the wake of Virginia Tech, area police are placing a new emphasis on school safety.

"I felt it went real good for the first time of us having it," Vincent assured.

The drill was held at Edmonson County High, home of the wildcats and only 900 students.

It's a seemingly unlikely location for school violence, but according to police, it's small U.S. schools like Edmonson County High that are most vulnerable to attacks.

"Intelligence says the ones most dangerous are the ones with a small police force and accessible entries to the school," Vincent said.

But with every hallway and classroom secured, officials have only two steps left to take--discuss the drill in an open forum and plan out the next day for training.

"The fact is--the more you practice, the better off you'll be and my opinion? Yeah, we need to have several more due to that fact," Vincent said.

Area police say it's also very important for students to have practiced what to do and where to go in a lockdown situation.

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