Medina Journal-Register — A number of official vehicles were in the vicinity of Towne School on Bates Road in Medina on Thursday, raising the alert level of residents in the area.
However, various law enforcement agencies were using the school as a training facility.
“You can’t get a better training environment than the real thing,” said Investigator Corey Black of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department. The training was for the handling of “active shooters” and included police officers from Medina, Albion, and Holley, and members of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department, Orleans County Probation Department, and the New York State DEC.
Black said the training, which is in its third month, is geared toward dealing with “any type of active shooter.” He said the training has taken on a deeper meaning with the school shootings in other parts of the country.
The combination of several law agencies all receiving the same training helps to create a standardized way of dealing with a similar situation, he said.
“If a situation such as that arises, you would have law enforcement from all jurisdictions show up,” Black explained. “If everyone has the same training, everyone can mesh together, know where to go and what to do.”
Each law enforcement branch will ultimately train all of its personnel, Black said. Using a facility like Towne School, he added, is “very important.”
Medina Superintendent Jeff Evoy said the use of the building allows people who don’t normally work in a school to get a better feel for the “lay of the land.”
Evoy noted how the SWAT team held a drill at Medina High School this past school year during a holiday break to get a better idea of the building’s lay out.
“They worked with building and grounds folks here to understand where everything is and why,” he said.
Other school districts in the area have also worked with their local law enforcement, Evoy said, and doing so is a good practice, he added.
“Working with law enforcement so they get to know you in the event of a catastrophe or a major problem is a good thing,” Evoy said. “If something like that were to happen more than just the police would show up; there would be other agencies, too, so it’s a good idea to keep the lines of communication open.”