Liaison officers view the ALICE drill the school conducted as imperfect but helpful.
Recent ALICE training conducted at Central High School were not perfect – in some ways rough – head security officer Bryan Pitts considered it a success.
The drill started with an officer pretending to be a shooter in the parking lot. He was holding a Nerf gun and approached the building, which was meant to invoke the first rule of ALICE – Alert. This is when the drill didn’t go as planned, due to the ‘shooter’ wearing a police badge and thus not prompting anyone to ‘Alert.’ “It wasn’t perceived as we wanted it to be,” said Officer Pitts. After being notified, the school located where the ‘shooter’ was and voiced it over the intercom, starting the lockdown. This notification of the shooter’s location happened only once due to no one getting to a secure place to give frequent updates. After this some classes secured while some evacuated; some classes barricaded doors while others were able to block off entire pods.
While everyone remained safe, the drill didn’t necessarily go as planned. For example, the ‘Alert’ part in ALICE never happened and no one was giving updates over the intercom. This being the first active shooter drill with an actual ‘active shooter,’ hiccups were expected.
“We wanted to work through the system”, said Pitts. “Our goal was to test several different areas of the system that’s in place.” While the drill didn’t go perfectly, Officer Pitts feels confident in the school’s ability to protect its kids. “I think were prepared,” Pitts says. “I don’t think there any security issues and concerns.”
While Central prepares for possible school shootings, school officials are also aware of the need to work to prevent a shooting. “We’ve been alerted to threatening messages that have been made via Snapchat, via Xbox, a variety of different things, but we go and investigate them,” said Pitts. “We track down people and identify them… we secure phones and review messages. We’re as proactive as we can be.”
While Central’s security officers do as much as they can Pitts added that as students it’s imperative to report and share any alarming or worrying messages, communications, or threats made to or about the school.