On Wednesday and Thursday this week Holliston residents living near or driving by the High School might notice the unusually large police presence. Chief John Moore wants everyone to know that the department will be conducting a two-day training exercise and that there is no actual danger.
"Not since 9/11 has any one criminal incident shaken the American people like the Newtown, CT massacre of elementary school students and their teachers at Sandy Hook School. Consequently, the threat of active shooters is on the minds of both the public and law enforcement," Moore said.
The emergency response team will be training in a variety of situations and the majority of the school will be locked down during the training.
"This training is crucial to the on-going efforts of keeping students and staff (and our first responders) safe in our buildings," Moore said.
The training will include classroom training to compliment the "active shooter" scenarios. Some situations will include officers drawing their weapons and firing dummy rounds and Moore insists that no live ammunition will be used.
The training, conducted by the Massachusetts State Police STOP team, will also include practice physically restraining and searching a suspect.
“This training represents an important piece to Holliston’s comprehensive approach to school safety, where multiple departments, Police, Fire, and Youth and Family Services, work together with the school department on this crucial issue," Superintendent Brad Jackson said. "I am grateful for the seriousness that the HPD has approached the issue of school safety. Holliston is truly lucky to be protected by such a professional group.”
The school will be completely closed except for the gymnasium where a camp is being held. Employees will also be able to access the administrative wing if absolutely necessary.
The training is expected to take place between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, and Thursday, Aug. 15.