Lanett police training for active threats

Published 7:32 pm Thursday, August 2, 2018

By Chris Heaney
The Valley Times-News

LANETT, Ala. — In a response to the growing number of school threats and shootings nationwide, the Lanett Police Department will be taking a proactive approach to preparing for the worst.

On Wednesday, Aug. 7, police officers will work with Lanett Fire and EMS, the Chambers County SWAT Team and Chambers County EMA/911 in emergency training.

“It’s responding to this threat that seems to be occurring more often,” Lt. Josh Mitchell said. “Making sure that officers and all the emergency personnel are on board with these kinds of situations so that we can better respond and meet the needs of whatever situation is going on.”

All units will be taking part in the active threat training drills at W.O. Lance Elementary and Lanett High Schools. According to a public service announcement sent out by LPD, it is expected that the first training scenario will take place at the Lanett High and Junior High School facility between 9 a.m. and noon. The W.O. Lance Elementary School training will take place between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

While these types of drills are commonly referred to as “active shooter,” the training is for all threats that might take place in a school environment. Bomb threats, students with knives or even suspicious individuals on school premises are all causes for concern that the departments will be taught about.

“It’s not just a shooter,” Mitchell said. “Everybody says active shooter but it’s all active threats whether it’s somebody with a knife or anything. Any response in which people are actively being harmed we are conducting that training.”

The exercises will be as visceral and tactile as an actual situation would require. Mitchell said that all training will be “as realistic as we can get it” so that all officers and other emergency responders know how to react, even in high-stress situations.

Although all hands will be on deck for Wednesday’s training, the LPD assures the area that all radio traffic will be continuously monitored, and the exercises will not interfere with the represented departments abilities to handle calls for service and emergencies.

“The biggest thing the public should know is that this is training, just training,” Mitchell said. “We are totally aware of what’s going on, there’s no need for any concern, for anybody to try to involve themselves or try to take action.”