News 12 This Morning/Wednesday May 7, 2014
RICHMOND CO., Ga. (WRDW)--Alfonzo Williams, Schools Safety Chief for the Richmond County School system, says he's been preparing his team for worst case scenarios for months.
"We were criticized for doing lockdown drills earlier this year because we were doing them unannounced," he explained.
But because of those drills, he says they were ready as deputies searched for a suspect on the loose after shots were fired at Paine College, a campus just a few miles from several other schools.
"We immediately placed all of our area schools in the vicinity of Paine on a soft lockdown," said Williams.
During a soft lockdown, class time stays normal, but the school locks all but one entrance and students and teachers lock their doors too.
"And we brought in extra security from some of our other areas of the county," Williams went on to say.
He says shortly after hearing about the shooting at Paine College, they were able to round up about 15 school security officers across all of schools located near the Paine campus.
Now the sheriff's office wants to know whether the shooting involves more students or even more schools.
"It's our understanding that maybe the sheriff's office is unclear about whether there are any other persons involved and as the investigation unfolds we just need to make our students, staff and faculty aware," said Williams.
So nearby schools will stay on heightened alert, which means during the day, students and staff are to stay in the classroom and extra school security stays in place.
Students will still arrive and leave school at the same times.
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