2015-07-15 / News

NO CAUSE FOR ALARM

Officers descend on school for good reason
By Anne Marie Kyzer

Law enforcement will descend on Waynesboro Primary School this week but don’t be alarmed.

The dozens of cars from Georgia State Patrol and local agencies that will be seen in the parking lot Wednesday and Thursday are there for good reason.

They’re using the school to give officers specialized training in dealing with school shooters.

The training, called Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), was developed after the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School in Colorado that resulted in the murders of 13 people before the two gunmen committed suicide. The ALERRT program, created at Texas State University, has become the standard in active shooter response training and has been used to prepare more than 70,000 officers nationwide, according to the program’s website. This week, two dozen officers in Burke County will be added to the ranks.

Members of the Georgia State Patrol SWAT team will lead the training for 24 officers representing the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Waynesboro Police Department and Sardis Police Department.

Sgt. Matt Raulerson of the BCSO said bringing this training here was a priority for Sheriff Greg Coursey.

“The sheriff feels like this is something we really need,” said Sgt. Raulerson, who coordinated with GSP to set it up. “School shooters are not something we see on a regular basis, thank goodness, but the training will prepare us with the necessary skills to deal with and neutralize any situation that may come up. That’s what it’s all about.”

Sgt. Raulerson said school system administrators were more than willing to offer their facilities and will likely observe at least a portion of the training.

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