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Other school districts looking to adopt BCSD gunfire recognition training

Published Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Photo from BCSD gunfire recognition training

Officers with the Goose Creek Police Department were among law enforcement agencies supporting and participating in the training and demonstration. In the photo above, Capt. Dave Aarons of the GCPD speaks to teachers about the adrenaline rush to expect during a crisis. (BCSD photo)

Teachers packed Berkeley County School District classrooms Friday for a training other school districts in South Carolina and elsewhere in the country are looking to soon adopt.

This year marked the latest in a handful of times BCSD has offered a gunfire recognition demonstration/training for staff members attending the district-wide staff development event.

The training, as in years past, was emotional for some teachers as they listened to gunshots fired from various locations within the school and discussed how they would respond.

What set this year apart was the number of visitors from outside Berkeley County.

Rock Hill Schools Director of Risk, Security and Emergency Management Kevin Wren, was among those visitors. He was accompanied by Lt. Michael Chavis of the Rock Hill Police Department. Following one of the sessions, Wren spoke in support of the work done by BCSD Director of Safety and Security Tim Knight and his team.

“Tim is doing things no one else in the country is doing,” Wren said.

The gunfire recognition demo/training was offered with the support of local law enforcement agencies. It’s intended to educate those in our schools on the sounds of gunfire, as in some cases, a gunshot can resemble the sound of a book dropped in a hall or a locker door being slammed.

Guns used in the training and demonstration are the weapons statistics show to be more frequently used in active shooter situations. Law enforcement officers fired the guns from three locations in the school as educators listened. After two shots from each gun, there was a debrief, during which critical information was shared.

“One of our main goals with a training like this one is to get teachers to think differently,” Knight said. “We want to make sure they have a plan. We want them to think outside of the box and make the best decisions they can when in a crisis.”

Brian Troutman