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Madison authorities and school personnel drill for an ‘active shooter’ scenario

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Tuesday morning, James Clemons High School portrayed a scene that's become all too common in the United States -- a school shooting.

It was all made up -- a scenario designed to test the reactions of emergency responders in Madison.

Police officer, firefighters, ambulance crews, and school personnel met up around six o'clock to act out an "active shooter" drill.  They all knew it was a practice, but they didn't know the details of the staged threat.

"There were two gunmen that entered the school, began assaulting people, detonated an explosive device and officers were tasked with responding and making the correct decisions," said Madison Police Captain John Stringer.

Stringer was an evaluator for the exercise.  Simply put, he was happy with how everyone on the scene responded to the made-up scenario.

"The officers responded according to their training," said Stringer.  "They went in, they engaged the threat, they eliminated the threat.  One was actually wounded and taken into custody, the other entered a hostage situation was completely neutralized."

With a real school shooting incident as recent as last month at a high school in Oregon, Stringer says this training has to be done.

"We have school shootings with casualties, I hate to say it, on a regular basis.  So we want to make sure that we're training like we need to and that we're training the teachers too to respond the right way," said Stringer.

About 30 police officers participated, firefighters came with a truck and crew and hemsi was on scene with an ambulance and medics.

Right now, authorities in Madison conduct a drill like this once a year.  Stringer said school officials want to do them more often.


  • Bob

    It’s a shame that law enforcement has to do this. What a sick world our children have to live in.

  • Michael

    Look, if they want to train on school shootings and what to do if one occurs go ahead. I don’t care. But please, stop trying to fear monger the people by making these shootings seem like they happen “on a regular basis.” Notice how Captain Stringer didn’t give any data to back up his claim. So here’s some to back mine up. The average campus can expect a death by a shooting once every 12,000 years. Not only that but school shootings, as well as violent crime overall, has decreased every since the early 90s.

  • Sallie

    I think this is a fantastic idea. Pray we never need to use their training abilities but wonderful to be so prepared. Michael, we had a shooting at Discovery Middle School a while back that killed one if you remember. Everyone thinks it won’t happen in your city, but one can never be to careful these days. Thank you to all our emergency workers for all your hard work in being prepared.

    • Michael

      I do remember, and sadly nothing the police or administrators can think of would have prevented it. Even in the rare event of a school shooting, it’s usually long over with before anyone is able to arrive on the scene. Cases like Sandy Hook and Columbine are the exception, not the rule.

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