Flirting with disaster

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 15, 2007

WINDSOR – Various law enforcement agencies within Bertie County participated in annual Rapid Response training Friday.

The training was held at Bertie High School and simulated what would happen in the event of a school shooting or terrorist attack.

Officers and detectives from the Windsor Police Department and the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) participated in the exercises.

This type of training was state mandated several years ago following the shootings at Columbine High School.

It teaches law enforcement personnel across the state a standard method of responding to crises.

&uot;It’s a departure from conventional law enforcement training,&uot; stated Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins.

It’s different in that the first officer arriving on the scene goes directly to the shooter. Normally, officers would wait for backup or secure the area first.

&uot;This is the first step of a comprehensive training program,&uot; Atkins said.

He continued, &uot;This is just the law enforcement end; next we will have fire and rescue training and then school personnel will go through their end of things. Then we put it all together and have one cumulative exercise where we all come together and practice.&uot;

BCSO Detective Sergeant Frank Timberlake headed up the training end of the law enforcement exercises.

&uot;This was my first year heading this up, but I think everyone did well in the training,&uot; he said.