Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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April 17, 2014

Sheriff's Office conducts training exercise

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The two members told Fike that the Sheriff’s Office practices active shooter situations once a month, and that they’re always looking for new places to go.

“As soon as I heard that, I immediately volunteered the school,” he said. 

The biggest thing for the school, Fike said, is the piece of mind that comes with knowing the drill was successful in the school.

“We wanted the swat team to be familiar with our school,” he said. “We wanted to feel safe in the sense that they know what’s going on in this building.”

Several teachers, administrators and parents took part in the drill, playing the role of victims or passing on tidbits of information to the response team. For the teachers, taking part meant giving up a day of Easter vacation. 

“I thought it would be beneficial to participate,” said fourth grade teacher Cheryl Caldwell. “It’s very sobering.”

Stephanie Thurston is a 14-year Army veteran who has a daughter in kindergarten at DeSales. She’s also part of the school’s safety committee. For her, the tragedy in Sandy Hook in December 2012 is what got her involved in the school’s security.

“I jumped at the opportunity to be involved,” she said, noting that her injury in the drill was the loss of her leg. “It’s unfortunate that we have to think about this, but these are the times.”

The school received a lot of good feedback on the drill from parents, said Marketing Director Ellen Roth. Still, she said, the school would rather not have to do drills like this. 

“It’s sad to say that it’s just become such a priority now in education,” she said. “An incident is very remote, but we want to be prepared.”

Contact reporter Michael Canfield at 439-9222, ext. 6246, or follow him on Twitter @MikeCanfield36.

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