WATKINSVILLE, Ga.– More than eight law enforcement and emergency management agencies representing North East Georgia gathered at the Oconee County Civic Center train in the event of an active shooting.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than 200 active shootings have occurred since 2000.
The training was part of an “Active Shooter Incident and Management” course. Billy Godfrey, the lead instructor, said the class is all about being prepared.
“This class is designed to help responders work together more effectively, more closely, and more quickly to save lives,” remarks Bill Godfrey, “The odds of an active shooter event is actually quite low… but the problem is they can happen anywhere and without warning, so everyone has to be prepared.”
The simulation presented a scene in which an active shooter, also armed with explosives, attacked an airport. Law enforcement officials and emergency managers were separated into teams by their respective career including dispatch, rescue task force, tactical unit, and perimeter security.
Captain James Hale of Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was there for the training too, “I don’t think that anyone is every going to be totally prepared for an active shooter situation, but the idea of having a plan is better than not having any training at all.”
The training included active shooter drills using advanced computer software so trainees could have a “birds-eye” perspective of a real-life active shooter event.
These active shooter simulations and trainings will continue throughout the year. The sentiment among the officials is that they hope they never end up having to use the training.
By: Donovan Harris