Colleges | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Armed Intruder Drill At Area College


By: Kara Duffy
September 24, 2013

Thomasville, GA - The SWAT Team swarmed Southwest Georgia Technical College Tuesday afternoon going after an armed intruder. Thankfully, it was just a drill.

"Unfortunately, throughout the country there are things going on, that makes it prudent to make sure we've taken all the precautions to ensure that our students, faculty and staff are as safe as possible," said Gary Pitts, the Vice President Economic Development for SWGTC.

Thomasville Police, Thomas County Sheriff's Deputies and State Troopers all joined in. Together they acted out a real-life scenario, role playing as if a gunman was inside the school.

"Students, faculty and staff will receive electronic messages via email and text, as well as phone calls saying that there is an alert," Pitts added.

Once the alert was issued, the school was placed on lockdown.

"You don't ever want to think it will never happen, because it can happen and has happened in smaller communities before," said Cheryl Moore, a student at SWGTC.

Law enforcement officials also outlined an evacuation plan. They say drills like this one are also a great learning tool for them as well.

"We're here to also learn what our role is at this particular facility and what we need to do and where we need to be in case something like this does happen," explained Lt. Eric Hampton with the Thomasville Police Department.

After the drill, school officials met with officers to analyze the school's performance.

Agents praised them for things they did well and offered them tips on how to improve.

"It's just a matter of planning for something that we hope we never have to worry about," Pitts said.


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