RUSHFORD, Minn. (FOX 47) – It’s become as necessary as a fire or tornado drill: what to do when an outside threat enters a school.
As mass shootings continue to pop up across the country, more law enforcement officers are forced to prepare for those worse case scenarios. Tuesday afternoon in Rushford, Fillmore County Sheriff’s deputies along with other law enforcement officers worked through active shooter drills at a school.
“We all remember doing the tornado drills and unfortunately we have to do this kind of drill as well,” Fillmore County Sheriff John DeGeorge said.
As Sheriff DeGeorge spoke, his deputies were upstairs trying to stop an active shooter roaming the halls of Rushford-Peterson High School.
“For Fillmore County, our training budget is pretty limited. to be able to run 19 officers of our own through a two day active shooting training,” Sheriff DeGeorge continued. “I don’t know if we would be able to do that. For the federal government to step in and do this is huge.”
Minneapolis FBI agents are training local law enforcement through the “ALERRT ” or “advanced law enforcement rapid response training” program. Walking them through 6 different scenarios, where officers learn to distract, isolate, then neutralize a threat.
“It’s a scary world that we live in now, but the more we can educate our students, our teachers, our parents to be prepared, the better everyone is,” Rushford-Peterson Schools principal Jake Timm said.
While it wasn’t a REAL life threatening situation at Rushford-Peterson High school, it very well could be.
“For law enforcement in particular, we are the ones that are relied upon, we are the first line of defense, if someone calls 911 we are the ones coming through that door,” Sheriff DeGeorge said. “We’ve got to be ready if it does happen.”
Timm was thankful for the opportunity to get law enforcement inside the school.
“The more good guys that know the building, the better it is for everybody,” Timm said.
“ALERRT” training is happening across the county and sessions at Rushford-Peterson High School wrap up Wednesday. For more information regarding ALERRT training, click here.
Sheriff DeGeroge says they do plan on doing this type of training periodically to stay current on their tactics.