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Active Shooter

The Academy is actively engaged in providing professional training on response to school violence and active shooter incidents. A 24 hour DCJS certified basic active shooter course is offered, as well as reality based active shooter drills, held in area schools.  Officers attending these drills can put into practical use, their active shooter training. Role players from the schools fill the roles as principal, teachers and other staff. Role players are also used to act as victims, yelling, screaming and creating the chaos and confusion that would be included in any active shooter incident, putting emotions, and stress into the responding officers. With the use of FX training guns and non-lethal training ammunition (NLTA), the drills are as realistic as possible, keeping safety in mind at all times. EMS crews are also included in these training drills.

Drills have been held in Sidney, Walton and Delhi schools, with planning under way to involve Downsville, Margaretville and BOCES, as future sites. If you are interested in hosting an active shooter drill at your school, or business site, please contact the academy. The news write up from the Delhi school drill is included in this section of the web site.


By Terry Hannum
  The situation at Delaware Academy looked to be very grave on the morning of August 26.  Several police units from the region, the Sheriff's department, and State Troopers had gathered with ambulances and paramedics ready for service.  There was the sound of guns being shot, shouts begging for help, and screams echoing throughout the main hall of the high school.  This may sound terrifying and a horrific scene, but this was a drill, a simulation of what could potentially happen in a worse case scenario of someone armed and dangerous in the school.

     The Delaware County Law Enforcement Academy, lead by Captain James Small and Sheriff Thomas Mills, have been organizing these disturbing dramas at schools throughout the county.  The purpose is to create a realistic setting and situation for law enforcement officials, emergency responders, and ambulance services to react to and work together in crisis situations.  The training is made possible with the cooperation of the participating school and an ample supply of volunteer actors who play the parts of students, teachers, and 'shooters'.

     Why act out such graphic and dramatic violence?  Captain Small explained that the more training these professionals get, the safer our communities will be.  A person that is shooting or threatening to shoot in a school building is perhaps the most stressful situation that a law enforcement official could imagine having to address.  The presence of frightened and possibly injured students is impossible to comprehend in the midst of a violent person that must be subdues.

     In this rural and typically quiet County, the thought of a situation like this happening here seems completely unbelievable, but training for the 'what-ifs' is a benefit to everyone.  A nationwide prompting of this training has taken place following the tragic incident that took place at Columbine High School in Colorado.  This school was a rural, remote school a well and it too was an unlikely place for the level of violence that took place.  In a determined mission to bring some small bits of good out of that horrible incident, law enforcement officials have carefully reviewed what took place and ways that might help prevent or limit damage in future rampages.

     Multiple drills took place with brief reviews and corrections after each trial with a summary luncheon provided by the Academy at the Delaware County Sheriffs Office in the Public Safety Building.  The participating agencies in this valuable drill were the Delhi Village Police, Delaware County Sheriff's Office, New York State Troopers, University Police - Delhi, Norwich City Police, Delaware County Probation Office, Delaware County Social Services, Ambulance Services, and Cooperstown Medical Responders.  The power of cooperating services and departments was the most impressive display of ideal teamwork possible and a reassuring fact for the entire County.

     The Active Shooter Training program information can be obtained by contacting Sheriff Mills at the Sheriff's Office at 607-832-5555.