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Springetts police chief to stage school shooting drill

Updated: Thursday, September 12 2013, 05:43 PM CDT
Reported by: Christina Butler

YORK -- On Oct. 11, one of the largest school shooting drills in recent history will take place.  It will be held at Central York High School, and is being spearheaded by Springettsbury Township Police Chief Thomas Hyers.

"We've had Red Lion. We've had Nickel Mines. It's time to get together and work together on this," Hyers said.

The exercise will involve as many as 35 other local police departments. Instead of focusing on targeting the shooter, the drill will focus on how officers from different departments should work together. Even local hospitals may participate.

"This drill on Oct. 11 is not really the neutralization of the shooter. I'm very confident we can do that. And in 48 percent of the cases he's going to do that himself quickly. But how do we coordinate the response outside the building really effectively? And then have an investigation afterward?" Hyers said.

A secondary location, a nearby middle school, will serve as a reunification point for students and parents in case of a real emergency.

The idea for a large-scale drill like this came to Hyers in December, in the early days after the Newtown school shootings.

"The parents wanted to talk to the chief of police and say 'Were you prepared for this?'" Hyers said. "And God forbid if that ever happens here, every chief in York and Lancaster wants to be able to say we trained as well as we could."

Hyers has invited other district leaders and business operators to come observe the drill. They will be seated on an observation hill next to the high school. 
Springetts police chief to stage school shooting drill

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