OUR VIEW: County takes right steps with active shooter training

Practice is needed no matter what job you have. Even if that job may be dealing with an event you hope will never happen.

That’s why we applaud the drills being done by Gwinnett County police, firefighters and paramedics to prepare themselves for possible large scale, active shooter situations. The drills are being conducted at Mill Creek High School in Hoschton, and what makes the effort stand out is the fact that every officer and firefighter will go through the training before the summer ends.

Gwinnett is believed to be the first jurisdiction in the country to attempt this type of training on such a large scale. To accomplish this, each week the departments train at Mill Creek High, practicing the ins and outs of handling such a situation, complete with people playing the roles of victims and shooters.

With more and more of these incidents happening around the country, it’s prudent for the Gwinnett agencies to be prepared for such an event. Because incidents involving active shooters see the most fatalities and injuries in the first few minutes, Gwinnett police has changed its tactics as far as how to combat it. Now the plan is for officers to go in as soon as the arrive, even if that is before backup is present.

“… It’s absolutely essential for law enforcement to get in there and stop the threat,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said, “whether it be by taking out the bad guy or drawing attention to themselves.”

Understandably, it’s something everyone hopes never happens here. Said Gwinnett County Public Schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach: “It is very helpful to all of us to know … how we would respond and how we would communicate should something ever happen.”

We couldn’t agree more, and appreciate the fact that every officer and firefighter will have the experience of practicing this situation before the summer is gone.

The unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the Gwinnett Daily Post. Columns, letters to the editor and cartoons reflect the opinions of the individuals who penned them. It is the policy of the Gwinnett Daily Post to correct all errors of fact.