GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — An active shooter drill will be held next month in an effort to prepare Marshall County students and faculty – if a real shooting ever happened.
Marshall County Chief Deputy Steve Guthrie said, “This is a true training event to prepare law enforcement and faculty in the unfortunate event of an actual school shooting.”
“We’re going to treat it just like it was an actual active shooter,” Guthrie told News 19. “We’re not putting out the scenario, and we’re not telling law enforcement. They’re going to respond and act as they would [if it was a real shooter].”
Guthrie said active shooter drills will happen at each of the county’s schools over the next two years.
“We’re doing this one when there’s no students there,” Guthrie explained. “We’ll plan on having another one this fall, and at that point in time, it will be students in the school.”
Research by Everytown, a non-profit organization that advocates against gun violence, shows that 95% of K-12 schools in the United States participate in active shooter drills. However, their data shows that “there is almost no research affirming the value of active shooter drills.”
Everytown stated the drills neither prevented school shootings nor protected communities when the shootings happen.
Guthrie stated superintendents will have training that day, and everyone will be at a location across the country to see how law enforcement reacts to the hypothetical situation.
“After it’s over, everyone who participates will sit down and we’ll critique each other, as far as law enforcement and school administrators,” Guthrie concluded. “We’ll share it, [and] the sheriff will make a statement after the event.”
According to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, the drill will be held on August 5.