Law enforcement weighs in on school safety following Florida mass shooting

Law enforcement weighs in on school safety following Florida mass shooting

PETAL, MS (WDAM) - The deadly shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people has many people focused on how to make classrooms safer.

Sadly, we live in a world where we are seeing an increasing number of active school shootings. So, what do you do if you're a student or teacher in that horrifying situation? We talked to law enforcement about school safety.

"Do not be a victim. Barricade yourself, run, hide do whatever you have to do to survive," Petal Police Detective Sammy Ray said.

Ray's advice aligns with suggestions from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Run, hide and as a last resort, try to take physical action against the shooter.

"Teachers, as far as being aware, be aware of the active plan you have in place with your school in case you have an emergency situation," Ray said.

School resource officers within the Laurel School District just completed an active shooter course Tuesday at the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pearl. The SRO's are required to take the training every three years. Those officers within the schools work closely with city and county law enforcement to help train educators and have a plan in place.

"We try to improvise any trainings that we can or any new ideas or techniques," Ray said. "It's also important  to implement that plan and do something. No plan is perfect, but have a plan in place and execute that as safely and as quick as possible."

Other tips include closing the blinds in the room, turning off lights, remain calm and silence all cell phones, radios and other devices that may make sound so it doesn't lure the shooter.

Officials said rescuing people should only be attempted if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area.