TEMPLE, Texas — Belton Independent School District and the City of Temple teamed up to conduct an active shooter training exercise on June 7 to help better protect local schools.
According to a statement by the City, the tabletop exercise was intended to enhance safety and security measures in schools and ensure the well-being of both students and faculty.
The exercise was conducted at Lake Belton High School, and simulated a realistic active-shooter scenario to test emergency response procedures, communication channel effectiveness, coordination and decision-making during a potential threat.
Representatives from Baylor Scott and White Hospital, Bell County Emergency Management, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Temple EMS, Belton Fire and Emergency Management, Belton Police Department, Capital Area of Texas Regional Advisory Council, Central Texas Regional Advisory Council, Morgan’s Point Police, Temple Fire and Rescue, Temple Emergency Management, Temple Police Department and the Texas Division of Emergency Management were all involved in the exercise.
“The safety of our community’s children is our utmost priority,” said Temple Police Chief Shawn Reynolds. “By partnering with the Belton Independent School District, we can proactively identify potential areas for improvement and strengthen our emergency response plans. This exercise serves as a testament to our commitment to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment.”
“There’s a common thread throughout the Big Red Community – we all want the safest school environment possible for our students and staff,” agreed BISD Superintendent Matt Smith. “Collaborative training exercises with our partners help ensure that our emergency protocols are aligned, comprehensive, and effective. We appreciate the dedication and expertise of the City of Temple and other key stakeholders. We will continue to work together with our partners to provide the highest level of safety for our school community.”
During the exercise, various emergency procedures were assessed, including lockdown protocols, communication methods and coordination with law enforcement agencies.
According to the City of Temple, the exercise was a valuable opportunity to identify both strengths and areas in need of improvement, and will help both the City and BISD to continue to refine their responses to emergency situations.
“Preparing for emergency situations is a continuous process, and tabletop exercises like today’s play a vital role in enhancing our response capabilities,” said City of Temple Emergency Management Program Manager Jennifer Henager. “By identifying areas for improvement and fine-tuning our procedures, we can ensure a rapid, coordinated, and effective response in the event of an active shooter incident.”
The City of Temple and BISD stated they “remain committed to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment for students and staff”.
The City of Temple says they plan to conduct another similar active shooter tabletop exercise with the Temple Independent School District sometime in the summer of 2023.
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