BALTIMORE (WJZ) — According to recently released figures, there has been, on average, one shooting at a school every week this year in the United States.
From the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, to the shooting at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, school shootings have become all too common.
On Friday, the Baltimore County Police Department and other law enforcement agencies gathered at Prettyboy Elementary School in Freeland for an active shooter training exercise.
“We definitely want to make sure that our school resource officers are as prepared as possible to be able to respond to a situation such as this, to end it as quickly as possible,” said Corporal John Haddaway, with the Baltimore County Police Department Homeland Security Unit. “Our number one priority is site safety, so we want to get in as quickly as possible, stop the threat, and then assist as many people as we can.”
The training is held in conjunction with the Baltimore County Fire Department and the county school system.
“We do this at least once or twice a year for them. It’s a program we’ve had in place for many years. We usually try to hit different schools throughout the county. East, west and central. We work with the Baltimore County school system to facilitate that,” Haddaway added.
Currently, there are 84 armed school resource officers in Baltimore County, and all are sworn members of the county police force.
“We have about 180 schools in Baltimore County,” Haddaway said. “Most of the school resource officers at those schools are at this exercise today. Every middle and high school has an SRO and the elementary schools are getting an SRO.”
Friday’s training exercise lasted about four hours.
The Maryland Air National Guard, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, UMBC Police Department, and the Southern Regional Police Department from Pennsylvania were all part of the training in Freeland.