2nd scenario

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 22, 2012

Second ‘Active Shooter’ scenario coming next week

By Billy Davis

Law enforcement agencies, blue lights flashing, will be racing toward Batesville Junior High next week for an “Active Shooter” scenario at the school.

Problem is, they don’t know when the call is coming in.

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The Batesville Police Department is alerting the public about the event next week, expecting phone calls to the police station when uninformed Panolians see blue lights at the junior high.

Possible dates for the scenario span Monday June 25 to Friday June 29.

Panola County’s first-ever “Active Shooter” scenario was held in 2010 at South Panola High, where law enforcement from local and state agencies swarmed to the campus to react to a “school shooting.”

After an hour-long scenario two “shooters” were arrested and one was “killed” by authorities.

One officer who participated in 2010 called the scene “chaotic.”

Fireworks meant to simulate gunfire rattled through the school’s hallways, sending up smoke that set off the school’s ear-piercing alarms.

Teens participated as shooting victims two years ago. They lined the hallways begging for help but officers stalked past them, trained to bypass victims and find the shooter first.

During the event the fire alarms drowned out officers’ radio traffic, hampering communication between teams. At a post-scenario meeting it was suggested communication had been an issue throughout the event.

Batesville police said days later that improved communication was already being addressed.
Another issue mentioned was using mirrors to see around hallways. Officers were poking their necks to peer for trouble and a “shooter” suggested, in a real-life scenario, that was an easy way to get killed.

Daniel Cole, director of Panola County Emergency Management, is working with the Miss. Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to plan the scenario next week.

Police officers, sheriff’s deputies, paramedics and firefighters are expected to participate.