NINETY SIX, SC – Local law enforcement officials and representatives from other emergency services discussed the plans they have in place should another tragedy similar to the one that occurred in Greenwood in 1988 and the one that occurred in Connecticut last Friday occur in Ninety Six on Tuesday night at East Main Coffee Company.
The forum focused on the plans in place should there be a shooter at a school in Ninety Six and was led by Ninety Six Police Chief Robert Shingler, Ninety Six Fire Chief Neil Lomax, SWAT Team Commander for the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office Captain Dale Kittles and Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office Community Services Commander Major Sonny Cox.
“This is a team effort,” Shingler said of the active shooter plans. “Everybody has a part. Teachers and administrative staff are very well trained and understand their part and emergency services understand their part.”
While all of those entities play a vital role in handling an active shooter situation, the most crucial role lies with parents before an incident ever occurs, according to Shingler.
“Parents need to train their children to listen to their teacher,” Shingler said. “That’s where it all starts. Teachers are the first step in the process.”
According to Kittles, who responded to the incident at Oakland Elementary in 1988, a coordinated effort is essential.
“There is a good plan in place,” Kittles said. “It takes everyone working together to respond to a situation like (a school shooter),” Kittles said. “We train continuously and update the plan when it becomes necessary. We train with all of the emergency services and school personnel to make sure that, if anything happens, we’re prepared to respond.”