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Prince George's County Officers Take Part in Mass-Shooter Drill At High School

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Some 200 police and fire and EMS officers took part in a mass-shooter drill today in Prince George's County.
WAMU/Armando Trull
Some 200 police and fire and EMS officers took part in a mass-shooter drill today in Prince George's County.

A Beltsville High School was the scene of a mass-shooter training today, and close to 200 first responders took part in the drill.

The scenario begins with the detonation of a smoke bomb in front of High Point High School. "They're going to come here and wreak havoc in this parking lot and then go in the building and begin to systematically shoot kids and hurt them," explains Prince Georges County Police Major Mark Person.

A dozen screaming students played by police academy recruits rush the first responding officers, while a Maryland state police helicopter circles the school. More than 100 officers and deputies from Prince George's County and other jursidictions have responded to the drill, as have EMS units.

"We have systems where both police, Fire and EMS and schools will be able to talk to each other on designated channels. [This is] the first time we're going to be able to exercise that," says Fire Chief Mark Bashoor.

Trainers followed first responders during the videotaped exercise, and the lessons learned will be used to train for the tragedy that these first responders hope they never have to address.

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