HAZARD – Often times in a disaster, half the battle is simply knowing what to do.
It was under this premise that Hazard Community and Technical College and the Hazard Police Department staged a mock shooting at the college on Wednesday.
The scenario involved a simulated shooter entering the school, shooting several students and attempting to enter classrooms until police arrived. It took HPD officers roughly a minute to apprehend the shooter once they arrived on the scene.
For the college, Wednesday’s exercise was part of an ongoing evaluation by the school’s crisis management team, noted Evelyn Wood, communications director for HCTC. In this instance, the team was looking to determine the school’s level of preparedness in the event of an emergency situation.
In the moments after the drill concluded, Wood said it seemed that the school’s response was adequate in that the shooter was unable to enter any classrooms and the facility went on lockdown until the all clear was given.
“From that standpoint, this was a success,” Wood said.
Hazard Police Chief Minor Allen said the department has conducted similar drills at the high school and middle school over the past year in order to gauge not only the department’s response time and level of preparedness, and also how students and staff at the schools responded.
“You can’t plan for everything, but it’s better than not planning at all for it,” he said.