Marion County Law Enforcement Participates in Active Shooter Tra - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Marion County Law Enforcement Participates in Active Shooter Training Exercise

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In this day and age, we've learned that anything - a shooting, a child abduction, or a robbery - can happen anywhere.

Marion County law enforcement officers are collaborating with community members to prepare for the unexpected.

The Fairmont Federal Credit Union was turned into a crime scene Tuesday night, as authorities rushed through its doors and patrolled the premises. Fortunately, it was just a drill, but for those who were there, it was the real deal.

"This is the closest you can come to reality, and I've got complete confidence in our police force here in White Hall," said Mayor Guy Ward.

"We've got West Virginia State Police, Fairmont City Police, U.S. Marshals here, White Hall police are all going to be here to work together and train together," said Chief Geno Guerrieri of the White Hall Police Department.

Dispatchers from the Marion County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management were also on hand for the full-scale active shooter training exercise.

"The first scenario is kind of a low-key, the second scenario is domestic-based, and the third one is an actual armed robbery," said Guerrieri.

More than 30 law enforcement officers and volunteers participated in the scenarios, including bank employees, who had mixed feelings about the event.

"(They are) apprehensive, but I think they're thankful that we are putting so much emphasis on protecting them and teaching them how to be prepared," said Stacia Martin of the Fairmont Federal Credit Union.

Guerrieri said exercises like Tuesday's benefit the entire community. He said he'd like to collaborate with other businesses to hold more practice exercises in the future.

"We have 215 businesses out here, we've got 800 residents, I believe...we're gonna take that information back, talk about it, go over it. 'What can we do to better ourselves and better the credit union employees?'" said Guerrieri.

"We've got plenty of help from the neighboring forces, and if something like this would take place, we're well prepared," said Ward.