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KSP to start Active Shooter Training Program

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Four options available for training available

By Kelly Cantrall

State police are working to minimize potential school violence with a new training program for educators.

Kentucky State Police started an Active Shooter Training Program aimed at preparing school personnel in the event of a gunman in the building. Schools and districts can contact area posts and KSP headquarters in Frankfort to schedule a training session with law enforcement.

Jeff Gregory, spokesman for KSP Post 4 in Elizabethtown, said state police now are informing districts of the opportunity. Education officials have four options for training, Gregory said. Schools can receive an on-site visit, a safety assessment of their building, a practice session of lock-down drills and hands-on role-playing drills.

Gregory said KSP wants to “take a proactive approach instead of a reactive approach” to these potential situations.

In the training, school personnel learn what police do when responding to an active-shooter situation, as well as learn what they can do to assist in the situation as much as possible.

Officials at Hardin County Schools and Elizabethtown Independent Schools said the districts don’t have firm plans to participate in the training at this point, but are interested in learning more about the opportunity.

“We’re very interested in this,” said John Wright, HCS community relations director. Wright said the challenge is determining when and how to schedule training for employees to accommodate other responsibilities of school personnel.
EIS Superintendent Jon Ballard said he also is interested in pursuing training or training in a similar program at Elizabethtown Police Department.
Districts have had safety plans in place for several years. Wright said Kentucky schools recently were required to have specific plans for each school, a requirement put in place after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December 2012, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six staff members.
Wright and Ballard agreed additional training is welcome.
“I don’t think you can ever get too much of it,” Wright said.
Kelly Cantrall can be reached at 270-505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.