Upstate School Resource Officers Train for the Worst - WSPA.com

Upstate School Resource Officers Train for the Worst

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In the Upstate, school resource officers are already taking steps to prepare for what to do if a dangerous scenario happened here. In the Upstate, school resource officers are already taking steps to prepare for what to do if a dangerous scenario happened here.
ANDERSON, S.C. -

In the wake of a mass stabbing at a high school in Pennsylvania, parents across the country are on edge about their own kids’ safety in the classroom.

In the Upstate, school resource officers are already taking steps to prepare for what to do if that dangerous scenario happened here.

Anderson School Resource Officer Adelle Davis couldn't help but think of the hallways she patrols every day when she heard about the Pennsylvania school stabbing Wednesday morning.

“My first thought was the safety of the kids, knowing that I'm responsible while they're in school to make sure that they go home safe. Just knowing how easily that can happen here, it kind of sends a shock through you," said Davis.

School resource officers like Davis do active shooter training inside empty schools at least once a year. They’re also trained on how to react if the attacker is using a knife.

“At the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, we learn how to stop a knife threat. We learn how to stop a gun threat, even just physical altercations. We learn different tactics we can use to stop the threat without harming anyone else,” said Davis.

So just how often do weapons wind up in upstate schools? 7 On Your Side went school by school and tallied up the numbers in the S.C. Department of Education's data. By our count, between 2011 and 2013, there were 83 weapons offenses in Greenville County schools, 58 weapons offenses in Spartanburg County schools, and 32 in Anderson County schools.

As we told you in a recent Community Watchdog report, those numbers could be a fraction of the weapons actually winding up at school. There's no way for the DOE to punish the schools that don't comply with reporting requirements.

Davis said she's seen knives turn up in the two Anderson elementary schools she patrols, usually pocketknives kids bring by mistake.

“It's not just a high school that this could happen in. It could happen in middle school or elementary. A kid could just be upset about a situation, upset about a grade and their first instinct is to pull out a knife that they have in their pocket," said Davis.

It's not just law enforcement taking steps to keep your kids safe.

New this year, schools across the upstate added surveillance cameras, new locks that allow teachers to secure their classrooms from the inside and second sets of doors at main entrances. New in Greenville County this year, all middle and high school students are required to wear a photo ID badge at all times. Schools in Pickens County added intercoms to the main entrances of any schools that did not already have them.

Related:
Many Upstate Schools Still Fail to Track Campus Violence
School Shootings Prompt New Training and Security in Upstate
Upstate Schools Ramp Up Security Over Summer

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Jenna Troum
Jenna is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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