Weatherford Democrat

October 29, 2013

WISD, first responders team up to conduct mock active shooter event Nov. 2 at Seguin Elementary


Weatherford Democrat

Weatherford ISD has teamed up with local first responders to conduct one of the largest mock active shooter emergency drills in Parker County, which will take place Nov. 2 at Seguin Elementary.

“The protection of our young people is our highest priority,” WISD Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hanks said. “Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent years, no school is immune to the possibility of an attack. This is an especially important drill because, from a school district perspective, it increases our effort to provide safe and secure buildings for our students.”

The drill will serve as an important tool for both the district and first responders, and it will focus on ensuring the safety and security of WISD students and staff members in the event of an actual active shooter scenario. It is scheduled to last from around 8 a.m. to noon.

Dr. Hanks also said the mock drill is an opportunity for the district to test its crisis management process for its level of effectiveness and efficiency.

“We will receive valuable feedback as a result from this drill,” he added.

WISD Executive Director of Security and Transportation Grant Priess said several students and staff members have volunteered to participate in the mock drill. Some will take on roles as victims who have been injured throughout the course of the event.

“This staged event will be the first time in several years that our first responders have conducted a drill of this magnitude at one of our campuses,” Priess said. “It is designed and will be conducted as close to an actual event as possible.”

Participating first responders include the Weatherford Police Department, Parker County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Weatherford Fire Department, LifeCare Emergency Management Service, and Weatherford Regional Hospital.

“This is a great opportunity for the District and first responders to work together to establish a standardized response that involves all parties responsible for the care and safety of our students,” Dr. Hanks said.

Although the mock drill will take place at Seguin Elementary, the actual active shooter scenario will be based on a high school setting. Priess said Seguin was chosen for the training site because it is a smaller facility that provides for a variety of scenarios.

Additional security measures will be in place such as various checkpoints around the campus during the morning of the training. No one will be allowed inside the facility unless they have been cleared by police.

Priess said he will send a callout message to all WISD parents the day before the event, and information will be posted on the District’s website and social media pages on Nov. 2 explaining the training exercise. Also, information will be publicized in the local media, and members of the Weatherford Police Department plan on walking door to door around the Seguin Elementary neighborhood explaining the scenario to homeowners.