While many schools are closed this week, Columbia High School is open for a special class. Several police departments are taking part in an annual training session, meant to keep the school community safe. Our Megan Cruz has more from East Greenbush.
EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. -- Class started promptly at 8:15 a.m. over at Columbia High School. School was closed, but on Wednesday, police were there for a special class: How to respond to an active shooter in a highly populated place like a school.
The annual training brings together police from East Greenbush, Nassau, North Greenbush, Schodack, Rensselaer, as well as the State Police and Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office. Instructors are from the Emergency Response Team.
The day started with some time in the classroom, but before long, they took to the stairwells.
"If he's covering straight up, I need to be slightly ahead of him," explained Sgt. Mike Smith.
He was one of the instructors Wednesday. He then took them to the hallways.
"Now I've got a gun on her as soon as she has a gun on me and that's the best you can hope for," said Smith.
Then finally, into a classroom. Taking part in the training is Sgt. Ernest Tubbs. He says they've been doing these drill since Columbine in 1999. Those drills put to the test in 2004.
"As I came up the stairs, I saw Mr. Bennett lying on the ground right here bleeding from his leg," said Sgt. Tubbs.
He said they helped he and fellow officers take down 17-year-old John Romano. The teen opened fire at the high school. A teacher was shot, but not killed.
"We don't want a situation to occur, but in the event it does, we feel based upon this training, we're ready," he said.
Training will continue Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon.