Coastal law enforcement trains fire response at schools

Waveland, Miss. (WLOX) – Several coastal law enforcement agencies are taking action against the recent spate of school shootings across the country by learning new tools to keep your children safe.

They prepared for worst-case scenarios Tuesday with active training at Waveland Elementary School.

The students will return to school next week, so the building was empty at the time.

Officers put their protocols into effect from approaching and searching the building to shooting the hypothetical shooter inside a classroom.

“We want to be able to train officers on how they can neutralize a threat to save lives,” said Sgt. Josh Stockstill of the Waveland Police Department told WLOX.

The course is the first of its kind in the region and Stockstill is one of the instructors.

“Clear. Clear,” the officers said as they stormed into the classrooms.

Stockstill guided Waveland police through real-life stagings, as well as first responders from Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian and Harrison County.

“Whether it’s a small town like Waveland or a big city like Dallas, Texas, it can happen at any time. So training is very crucial,” he said. “Everyone has to be involved.”

The exchange of gunfire with rubber bullets added to the realism of what they might encounter.

“We have a young police service. Our neighboring towns have young police departments,” said Deputy Chief Alvin Kingston of the Bay St. Louis Police Department. “So it’s really great training because they get basic training at the academy, but it just extends that training and brings everything together.”

As a united front, the group has one goal in mind: take out the shooter and stop the rampage.

“Everyone will be able to be on the same page and say, ‘OK, I know what this person is going to do, I know how they’re going to react, I know what I need to do,'” Bay St. patrol lieutenant says Louis Dylan Murphy.

Half of the Bay St. Louis Police Department participated Tuesday, while the other half are scheduled to practice at a later date.

Authorities at the Waveland Police Department said they plan to hold this new safety training every year.

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