SRO officer teaching teachers survival drill

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Do you know what to do if an active shooter or intruder enters your school?

That’s the question Escambia County Sheriff’s Officers and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has been asking county schools during the Run, Hide and Fight training program.

ECSO School Resource Officer Jeff Weaver said he began training the county schools on Dec. 12, 2015. Weaver started training for the class right after Thanksgiving in the program that’s sponsored by ALEA.

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After Monday, four schools in the county have been trained, Weaver said.

“We’ve got to train the rest of them really quick,” he said.

The training program teaches teachers and school officials on what to do in case an active shooter or intruder comes onto campus.

“We’re doing schools, but we can do businesses and restaurants,” Weaver said. “It’s not just for schools, but that’s what I am concentrating on because people in Escambia County have never heard about it, especially in the school system.”

Weaver, along with ECSO Deputy Jason Yoder and Alabama Trooper Jessie Peacock lead the training sessions. In each session, a dramatic reenactment video of the Columbine High School shooting is shown and then class participants are given 10 seconds to figure out a plan against an intruder coming into the room.

Once the exercise is over, Weaver talks about what could’ve been done differently and gives other survival tips, including tying a belt around the door hinge; blocking the door with tables, chairs and other objects; and wedging a chair against the door so that the intruder can’t come inside.

“In this situation, you’re fighting for you and your students’ lives,” Weaver said.

Throughout the various school training, Weaver said everybody has been receptive.

“We’ve gotten very positive reaction to every class we’ve done,” he said. “People are stopping us, and they’re stopping me and asking me to look at their classrooms.

“It’s an eye opener for everybody,” he said. “I’m very surprised that we’ve been met by positivity.”

Weaver said he would like to train every county school, including private schools, before summer and that he’s gotten a lot of support from the school board.

“What we’re trying to do is keep everybody safe in or school system,” Weaver said. “That’s No. 1 for our kids.”