Authorities say they offer training for citizens on active shooter incidents.
Frederick, Md. (KM) – There have been increased safety patrols at Frederick County Public Schools following Tuesday’s mass shooting at a Texas school which killed 19 children and two adults. Spokesman Todd Wivell with the Sheriff’s Office says deputies do routine patrols of schools every day.
“And that’s where they drive by the school, they slow down, they go into the school property and they just make a presence, let everyone know we are there checking the schools from time to time,” Wivell says.
He says this week there are a number of Sheriff’s Deputies working at Mount Saint Mary’s University which hosting high school graduations at Knott Arena. “The SRO’s who are still working here in the county, they’re also picking up and helping other schools while we also have these deputies doing these extra school safety checks,” says Wivell.
SRO’s are school resource officers who are assigned to public schools in the county to help provide security. The Sheriff’s Office has 16 deputies who are school resources officers in the county. The Frederick, Brunswick and Mount Airy Police Departments have officers which provide this services to schools in their jurisdictions.
There haven’t been any mass shootings in schools in Frederick County, but the Sheriff’s Office was able prevent such a tragedy at Catoctin High School. In 2017, authorities say Nichole Cervario, 18, of Thurmont, was planning a mass shooting at the school. She had purchased a rifle and materials used for explosives. Her father heard about it, and informed school officials who passed that information on to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies removed her from a classroom.
At the time, Sheriff Chuck Jenkins said his deputies prevented a tragedy at Catoctin High School.
In the event of an active shooter incident, Wivell says the Sheriff’s Office is prepared. “Every deputy here is trained in active assailant, and active shooter training, and knows what to do,” he said. In addition, each deputy has an access card from Frederick County Public Schools which allows them to make entry into a school quickly.
The Sheriff’s Office also provides training for civilians on what to do in an active shooter incident. It’s a 75-minute, in person session providing strategies guidance and plans for surviving active shooter alerts. Called Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) the course relies on the strategy of Avoid, Deny and Defend.
Anyone who would like to schedule this training for their school or business can call Lt. Brian Woodward at 301-600-7110.
Wivell says no community is immune to the possibility of a mass shooting. “Texas is a little bit away from us. But it can happen any day to any community,” he says. “And Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is prepared to respond as fast as we can, to get stuff back to normal and keep our community safe.”
By Kevin McManus