January 18, 2013 12:38:29 PM
School resource officers from throughout north Mississippi will converge at Overstreet School in Starkville on Saturday for an active shooter drill.
Part of a mandatory course required by the Mississippi Department of Education, the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERT) program is a one-day refresher course that must be taken every year along with a full two-day program.
The MDE has been requiring these courses since 2008 and MDE school safety spokesperson Don Criswell said the drill is not in response to any recent events.
"Our resource officers are the only agency required to do this training in the state, but probably 80 to 90 percent of all law enforcement agencies in the state have had this training," Criswell said. "Basically, it is geared so all of the resource officers will have the capabilities of working with other law enforcement agencies."
The drill is closed to the public.
Criswell said the drill focuses on how to enter a building with an active shooter, and what steps to take after entering.
Resource officers from all over the region will participate in the drill, which was scheduled after the same course filled up in Oxford a few weeks ago.
"We are limited to the number of people we can have in a class," Criswell said. "We had to schedule another one to make sure everyone was given the opportunity to get the annual refresher."