The Oxford Police Department conducted a planned active shooter training exercise at the Oxford High School on Saturday, April 14th. In a post on Facebook, the Police Department writes, “Remaining sharp on training standards for the safety of Oxford residents is this department’s priority.”
The training was coordinated by Officer Jason Burdett. He tells THE LAKE 940, 17 members of the Oxford Police Department volunteered their time in off duty hours to practice in case of a critical incident were to take place.
The school building was empty, there were no students or faculty there for this particular training, but Officer Burdett tells us, “It is my goal to set up a second training to include the teachers, students, police/fire dispatchers and Oxford Fire/EMS in the near future for a similar training.”
As a School Resource Officer Sgt. Jeromy Grniet must prepare everyday for any incident that could arise at the school. Sgt. Grniet along with Officer Kevin Mercier are what are known as ‘ALICE’ instructors. ALICE is an acronym for ‘Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.’ ALICE is a method taught to Oxford students and staff to fight back if under attack.
Officer Burdett tells THE LAKE 940, “The Oxford Police Union hopes and prays that an active shooter type incident never happens, but if it were to happen we are confident that the members of the police department are prepared to respond if it does. The safety, security and well being of the town of Oxford’s teachers and students is of the highest priority to us and we are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their safety.”
The training at the school was beneficial to all officers that attended. “As a department we were able to all meet and communicate face to face our different ideas and strategies if faced with a school threat.” Officer Burdett says the team discussed several different tactics and movements if presented with a threat in a school building.
Students in Oxford will enjoy Spring Vacation this week, and it will be back to school as usual on Monday, April 23rd.