Washington County Sheriff’s Office, 5 other law enforcement agencies participate in active shooter training

Experiencing a shooting is something we never want to happen, but several law enforcement agencies are preparing for when one does happen.
Washington County Sheriff's Office

TENILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Six Middle Georgia law enforcement agencies are training for the unthinkable.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant of Professional Standards Derick Durden says Sheriff Joel Cochran made Active Shooter Training a priority for deputies.

“We want our officers to be prepared,” he said. “That’s what this training is for. To get them prepared to deal for such an event.”

In addition to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, five other agencies participated, including:

  • Davisboro Police Department
  • Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office
  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sandersville Police Department
  • Washington County Board of Education Police Department

According to the Georgia State Patrol Training Division, it’s not a matter of if an active shooter situation will happen, but when.

“These kind of threats are always present,” GSP Assistant Firearms Coordinator Timothy Brantley said. “There’s always going to be mentally unstable individuals looking to do damage for their own selfish purposes, so you can’t say just because I live in a rural community, that it’s never going to happen here.”

The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, also known as ALERRT, teaches officers how to neutralize a threat. Trooper Brantley, who’s from Laurens County, says the training is indispensable for rural communities.

“I might be the only trooper out for four counties, so my closest backup is going to be a Laurens County deputy, Washington County, depending on where I’m at,” he said. “If something does go wrong, especially in a school or a community, they will be my backup. We need to be on some kind of level of the same page to go in and handle whatever situation has presented itself.”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office received more than $45,000 in grants for Law Enforcement Training last year.

Lieutenant Durden says the active shooter training is a result of those initiatives. They also received funding to purchase a ‘Use of Force’ simulator.

“Most of the training takes place in regional academies,” he said. “This is able to bring the training to us. So that’s very valuable. It helps us with scheduling and getting more people trained at one time.”

The second day of training will put officers to the test with live scenarios. The training is called Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, also known as ALERRT. Law enforcement agencies interested in the active shooter training can click here.

Categories: Featured, Local News, Washington County, WMGT

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