Police use school holiday for emergency training in Rockville -- Gazette.Net


Montgomery County Police and the staff of Julius West Middle School in Rockville conducted a training exercise at the school Tuesday simulating a shooter on the premises.

“Officers respond to a call for a male with a gun at a school,” Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks said. “As they respond, they are given the facts and enter the school and are directed to where the [person] was last seen.”

Tuesday was the last day of spring break for Montgomery County Public Schools students. Starks said the training took place inside the school and involved three or four patrol cars at a time.

“We are taking them off the road to get the officers familiar with this type of scene and to get the school familiar with the tactics,” Starks said. “Basically it is for us to be more familiar with school staff and procedures and school staff to become familiar with us so if the real thing happens we will be more prepared.”

County police have been conducting training exercises in schools since the shooting in Columbine High School shooting in Colorado in 1999, Starks said.

Officers knew in advance that they would be called off the road for a training exercise, Starks said, but they were not told any details.

“We didn’t want them thinking about it.” he said. “They learned at the scene.”