Next step: Iberville law enforcement authorities train to deal with school shooters

PETER SILAS PASQUA ppasqua@postsouth.com
Area law enforcement officers participate in Active Shooter Scenario Training hosted by the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office at Plaquemine High School last week and conducted by the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office. 
COURTESY PHOTO/Rodney Gascon

PLAQUEMINE – Iberville Parish law enforcement agencies ascended on Plaquemine High School last week to participate in active shooter scenario training exercises.

Along with Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Deputies, police officers from Plaquemine, White Castle, St. Gabriel and Maringouin also participated.

Sheriff Brett Stassi estimated 60 first responders took the course taught by the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office and designed to reduce the number of lives lost during school shooting incidents.

“History has told us that every 15 seconds we wait outside holding the perimeter waiting for the SWAT team to get here, children and people are losing their lives,” Stassi said.

Among the law enforcement officers attending the training sessions were five school resource officers with the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“We are going to have these people already on site,” Stassi said. “This is just the next step of training our people.”

The Iberville Parish School Board agreed in January to allocate more than $150,000 to the Sheriff’s Office to hire new resource officers in order to provide regular police presence on the school system’s 10 campuses.

“Every minute we waste, our young children are in danger and time means everything,” Stassi said.

Stassi said training will continue and include interaction with area school administrators and faculty. Lockdown procedures will be discussed to reduce potential victims.

One, two, three or four-man teams were used in the training.

“We are going to actively go after the perpetrator inside the school,” Stassi said. “Once they get on the scene we are not going to wait outside.

“Time saves lives and the quicker we can get in there and handle the perpetrator the quicker we can get our young kids safe.”