Shreveport, LA (KMSS) — On Thursday, the hallways at Eddie Jones West Shreveport Elementary School were packed, but not with students.
Instead law enforcement officials crowded the halls as they held mock school intruder drills.
The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary have brought school safety back to a forefront for people nationwide, but for the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office and Shreveport Police Department, school safety had never left their minds.
Thursday's drill was planned long before the Connecticut shootings. The two forces come together at least twice a year to practice different types of mass shooting drills. Along with the joint practices, each agency drills these type of events for at least 16 hours a month.
If something does ever happen, the agencies want to make sure that a mistake isn't made because of something as simple as the wrong hand sign.
Preparing for these events means that if a mass shooting or school hostage event were to take place, law enforcement would be better equipped to carry out their main goal, protection of life.
Thursday morning, the agencies practiced a school shooting drill, going so far as to time how long it would take to get on site after the shooting happened. In the afternoon, they practiced a hostage situation at a school, complete with hostage negotiators.
Law enforcement hopes that the skills learned in training like these never have to be applied in real life, but if they ever do, drills like this make first responders better prepared.