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December 8, 2015 • Headline News
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Jac-Cen-Del role plays for intruder

Mary Mattingly

It took just 80 seconds to fire off six rounds of simulated ammunition in the hallway of Jac-Cen-Del High School. That’s what Indiana State Police Cliff Elston pointed out to the 100 or so Jac-Cen-Del teachers gathered for an unarmed response to an active shooter training scenario Wednesday after school. Police officers set the scene for an intruder to the school, role played by State Police Trooper Ben Bastin, to enter at the front office, then showing a small pistol, to proceed down the hallway to the library. The “intruder” checked hallway doors to enter, and fired off rounds as he did.

State Trooper Cliff Elston instructs the Jac-Cen-Del teachers in a shooting training response scenario. The teachers were separated into three groups.

In three separate groups, the teachers followed along, observing the behavior. One teacher noticed the shooter was not running. But Elston said it was typical behavior. From their research, the intruder rarely runs but walks briskly through the corridors of the school or public building. Two staff members were part of the scenario. Travis Rohrig, principal at the elementary school, and Clint Pride, high school teacher, were positioned in the library as aides or library staff. Although they heard the shots, they did not have time to exit, so as police had advised, they hid, grabbing what they could to defend or thwart the attack. In this case, Rohrig grabbed batteries, and Pride got hardback books, aiming for the intruder. “You do have time to react,” Sheriff Jeff Cumberworth told the teachers. “Shut the door and prepare.”

Police said it’s best to run and get away from the danger, but that’s not always possible with a roomful of children. Elston commented to the staff that the whole scene took just two to three minutes yet 12 rounds were shot. “In our studies it’s just five to 10 minutes that the incident occurs.” Teachers were told if they can’t get their children out of the room or building, to put desks in front of a door, hide, and have something in your hand to defend yourself. “Don’t get lax with locking doors,” they also said.

Brent Casebolt, the school resource officer who helped coordinate the training with police, said it’s not just schools where shootings are occurring. He advised to use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and what you can use to your advantage. “If you have no clue where the shooter is, lock doors, hide and be ready to fight if you have to. Grab what you can. It could be canned food, a flagpole, a flower pot, or books,” he told Ripley Publishing.
The local police noted the relevance of the training to the teachers. Ironically, as they were conducting this training a live intruder incident was occurring across the country, in San Bernardino, California, where 14 people were killed and 21 injured.

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