Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Berkeley Co. Schools host 10th annual active shooter training

PUBLIC SCHOOL in stainless steel text against a brick background.

Photo: jetcityimage / iStock / Getty Images

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Berkeley County School District says safety is the most important thing they can give their families, which is why the five law enforcement agencies that serve the county participated in Tuesday’s annual training.

Officials say this training will prepare them for the chance of any sort of active assailant or school shooter. The officers came from Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Moncks Corner Police, Charleston Police, Goose Creek Police and Hanahan Police Departments.

“Well, I think a lot of it has to do to make sure that we’re all on the same page,” Brad Scrio, school resource officer at Sedgefield Middle School, said. “We never know who’s going to be our back up… All of us being on the same page and being able to communicate effectively, and all know that we have the same training really helps.”

The district had a total of 51 officers, making it the highest number of participants since the training program started. The officers lined the halls of Hanahan High Tuesday firing simulation, or fake bullets, at targets and communicating with each other on how to capture a suspect.

Officers also participated in active shooter simulations that gave them a hands-on approach to different situations, which were taught and advised by Maj. Bobby Shuler, major over special operations at Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. He gave the SROs feedback on how to best respond.

“They have 1600 or more, or close to 2000 scenarios, on there that we can do anything and put out anything and we can also change some things based on what the officers’ actions are,” Shuler said.

Shuler says they also need to prepare for how an assailant might react.

“They’re learning from it just as much as we are,” Shuler said. “So, we have to adjust.”

According to Tim Knight, the director of security and emergency management for the district, only 46 out of the 48 schools in the district have a full-time school resource officer because of staffing issues. He says for the two schools that don’t, there’s a neighboring school within 100 yards of it with someone who is full-time.

“I want our parents to know that we are working very hard every day to keep their kids safe in our school,” Knight said. “Not only the SROs, but our teachers. It’s our administrators, our front office staff. Everybody is working hard.”

School resource officers went over basic training, like CPR and how to apply tourniquets, and even did a full drill with student actors playing the roles of actual students and a shooter.

The district says students and families should feel confident with what’s to come -- in case the worst does come.

“They should feel extremely safe going into the school year because behind the scenes, over the summer, all of this training is taking place,” Knight said.

Scrio says every parent should feel confident that their child is in the hands of these officers at school.

“I have three children that have all attended the Berkeley County school system, and to know that this training happens not only on the SRO level, but also on the administrative level and the teacher level, gives me a little peace of mind for my own children when I can’t be there,” Scrio said. “But I hope that it gives other parents peace of mind that I am there for their kids, as we all are as SROs.”

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