BAKER COUNTY, Fla. – As 14 people had their lives taken Wednesday in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, the Baker County Sheriff’s Department held an active shooter drill an hour before the tragic event to help protect its residents in case the same situation were to happen there.
With more and more mass shootings sweeping the U.S., officials are saying that law enforcement officers aren’t the only ones who need to be involved active shooter drills. In the one that took place Wednesday, even children were involved.
Law enforcement teams across the country are increasing the amount of times they practice active shooter drills
A few months ago the Clay County Sheriff’s Office conducted an active shooter drill at the Orange Park mall while the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office held one at the Jacksonville International Airport.
And now on Wednesday, completely unknown to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office, deputies held a practice drill to combat exactly what was happening over 2,000 miles away.
“It was something that we had to be prepared for. We will always pray that we don’t have anything like that but if it ever happened, we would be ready,” Baker County Sheriff Joey Dobson said.
Dobson said his team had been planning to carry out their active shooter drill at Baker County High School for the past few months. They even involved students and teachers so they would be prepared if the unimaginable happened.
“We try to make it as real as we can. We come on campus, we have an active shooter in the front lobby like we did today at the high school where all the parents come with their kids,” Dobson said.
Dobson said the drill began with their deputies, the SWAT team and the Baker County Special Response Team getting into place. He said that’s a measure that many law enforcement agencies take in the event of an active shooting.
“We went to the back of the school and we had them in sections of the campus that were roped off for our K-9s to be able to look for a suspect or one of the shooters so we use all parts of the resources that we have to make sure this is done properly,” Dobson said.
In the end, the Sheriff’s Office is staying prepared to stop a tragedy like the one in San Bernardino if it were to hit Baker County.