A 14-year old student at Phillip Barbour High School held a classroom and teacher hostage with a pistol, after intense negotiations the teen put the gun down and surrendered to police. So how do deputies ensure the safety of our kids?
“We are ready to deal with any crisis situation negotiation that might arise,” Captain Jim Sizemore with the Fayette County Sheriffs Department said.
Captain Sizemore, as well as several other deputies with the Fayette County sheriffs office, are trained as crisis negotiators.
“Someone’s life is literally in your hands with the words that come out of your mouth, if you choose the wrong words it can end badly so that’s a lot of pressure on the negotiator,” he said.
While police were negotiating, school administrators made sure students safely were evacuated. Tim Payton, the principal at Oak Hill High School, has a plan for any potential situation.
“Do we lock down, do we evacuate, do we you know basically run and hide, do we reunify at another place,” Payton said.
A key player in the crisis plan is Sergeant Jess McMullen, the schools prevention officer.
“And every situation is different, but it’s no different then working law on the street,” McMullen said.
McMullen said he works hand and hand with administrators to ensure everyone’s safety.