Enquirer Herald

Deputies train for worst, thanks to CHS

Personnel from the York County Sheriff's Department participated in rapid deployment training and response to active shooter training at Clover High School Monday. The department had use of the high school while students were on spring break.
Personnel from the York County Sheriff's Department participated in rapid deployment training and response to active shooter training at Clover High School Monday. The department had use of the high school while students were on spring break.

CLOVER -- The York County Sheriff's Office is taking advantage of Clover High's spring break this week by practicing their rapid deployment exercises there.

About 30 officers have spent the week practicing training to help prepare them for a Columbine-type shooting, said Sheriff Bruce Bryant.

"It'll teach the officers how to go in and clear the building," he said. "This is something we do all the time."

With an increase in school shootings in recent years, it's important for officers to be prepared, he said.

"You hear about more school-involved shootings today then you did years ago and this (training) is something we want our officers to be involved, so if they're ever dispatched there they would know exactly what kind of action to take," Bryant said.

While SWAT teams are trained to handle shooting situations, it's something regular officer need to know too, Bryant said.

"Naturally, the street deputies cannot wait for them to arrive," he said. "They got to go ahead and take action if there is an active shooter involved."

Although training at schools is common for the Sheriff's office, this is the first time it's been in Clover.

The last time local police and fire officials were given a tour of Clover High to familiarize themselves in case of an emergency was in 2000.

"It's the kind of thing we can help them by giving them a place to kind of work out and practice their maneuvers," said Assistant Principal Wendell Sowell. "We also benefit from it because they'll learn more about our building in case we ever had a crisis."

While no one wants to think about a shooting at the school, Sowell said it's something they must prepare for.

"I think any time you can practice for an emergency before it happens is a good thing," he said. "If you're not prepared, it's just like any other drill -- fire drill, earthquake drill, tornado drill -- if you don't have a plan when it hits, you might get in some bad trouble."

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