City, county law enforcement test school crisis response in Huntsville

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - For the first time in several years, law enforcement officers from Huntsville and Madison County came together for a widespread training exercise at a city school. The site was Huntsville High's new Freshman Academy. The scenario was an active shooter.

While officers and deputies knew a drill was scheduled for Monday morning, they received few details in advance. Madison County Sheriff Blake Dorning says it was important there be, "a little bit of surprise, a little bit of obstacles for our men to overcome."

The drill, which lasted approximately two hours, also involved the Huntsville Fire Department, the Red Cross and HEMSI. During the exercise, two officers were carried out of the school, suffering from supposed gunshot wounds.

School system employees served in a supporting role, providing information to law enforcement. The system's new Event Response Communications Vehicle was stationed at the police command post.

Those involved say the next step will be to analyze their exercise in detail. They want to determine what worked well and where improvements are needed in their school crisis response plan.

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