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Police practice for active shooters with simulation

A simulated drill of an armed assailant entering Loyalsock Township High School Wednesday morning was viewed by area law enforcement personnel.

The training drill was to demonstrate cameras, stun gloves, digital mapping grids and mobile device interface with police.

It played out on video screens beneath a tent outside of the school building.

It was a heart-thumping few minutes as Justin Johnson, of Milton, acted as an armed shooter.

Immediately, four cameras spotted him and an alarm sounded.

In a few seconds there were 19 alerts emitted from three surveillance cameras.

The armed suspect continued to walk through rooms and in a hallway and law enforcement were able to track his steps.

The technology showed color-coded dots as footprints, demonstrating where he had been, and his direction of travel.

Officials looked at the dots and a digital map that laid the school building out in grids.

For police who are unfamiliar with the school building layout, the map provided actual landmarks such as the office, various classrooms and hallways.

The same digital map can be interfaced with mobile devices for police outside and inside the building, the demonstrator said.

Police had a helmet camera on and the live footage gave a bird’s-eye view of the scene from an officer’s perspective.

As the simulated attack took place on a room where the shooter stood, Johnson was instructed to drop the gun and raise his arms above his head.

The suspect was touched by a stun glove sending a pulse through his system but not leaving a scar or mark that a prong from another non-lethal device might.

Michael Knight, the school resource officer, and another officer from Milton area were the police in pursuit and they escorted the shooter out to the tent to show officials how easy it was to release the suspect from the handcuffs by turning the gloves off and how easy it was if the suspect was not compliant by switching the gloves on.

The digital map system does not have to be specific for the school, said Lance Thomas, co-founder of Clear View Asset Protection Inc., the Hughesville-based security business that presented the drill.

Before the shooting drill, officials, including Lycoming County commissioners Scott Metzger and Rick Mirabito, were shown video demonstrations of drone capability.

Drones may be used for law enforcement and nefarious purposes, such as carrying explosives and contraband, Thomas said.

Cameras are integrated today as technology that is linked directly to telecommunications and thus the police, he said.

He said the demonstrations showed how the technology provide an immediate notification of a threat and may prevent mass casualties.

“It allows for a much quicker response for threat mitigation,” Thomas said.

“New technology integrated property with law enforcement will save money and lives.”

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