Boardman schools to be used for live shooter scenario

VINDY.COM  Published: Mon, April 1, 2013

Law enforcement from Boardman and Mahoning County will treat Wednesday morning as a real emergency situation.

Boardman police, the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office and other first-responders will have no idea what they’re responding to Wednesday at Boardman Center Middle School.

But the live-shooter scenario they will be acting out that morning will prepare them, should they ever find themselves in a real situation.

“We’re attempting to make this as realistic as possible,” said Boardman Police Chief Jack Nichols. “The purpose is to find our mistakes so we can learn from them for the real thing.”

At a news conference Monday at the school, Nichols, Sheriff Jerry Greene and Tim Drummond, Boardman assistant fire chief, explained how the local response will be.

Nichols said the scenario was being written for them by a retired security assessment expert who had worked with Boardman in the past. The scenario will not be revealed to law enforcement or anyone else until Wednesday morning when the call is made to respond.

Supervisory Senior Special Agent Tracey Bradford of the Youngstown office for the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the agency also attended the conference to support the local agencies and see what it could learn from these situations as well.

For Boardman schools Superintendent Frank Lazzeri, the situation will be helpful for the district despite the fact that the students are on spring break and only about 5 percent of the student population will be present.

“We do lockdown drills monthly,” Lazzeri said, adding that the drills are seen as a bit tedious because they are known about ahead of time. “But the antenna will be up for this.”

Parent volunteers have been recruited to act as though their children are inside, and to test police reaction.

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