SWAT teams roam North Augusta schools during training - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

SWAT teams roam North Augusta schools during training

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SWAT team exercises at North Augusta schools/Source: Jake Wallace (WFXG) SWAT team exercises at North Augusta schools/Source: Jake Wallace (WFXG)

Every hallway, classroom, and closet in six different schools.

That's where North Augusta Public Safety SWAT Team Officers were today.

"We're learning about every crook and cranny that's in some of these places," says Public Safety Director Chief John Thomas.

Officers roamed the halls of. six North Augusta area schools Thursday, getting familiar with each, just in case of an emergency situation,

"Anything we can do throughout our training that could assist us in giving us like a home court advantage, that would be a beautiful thing for us to have," says NAPS Lt. Tim Thornton.

It's all a part of the training the 20-plus officers go through every month, but after the recent events in Connecticut, they say it's always a good idea to take another look to make sure the schools are as safe as possible.

"What we can do is learn from other current events, learn from other situations, and see what we can do to make our situation better," says Thornton.

All students were still on Christmas break, so the officers had free reign to scope out the campuses.

They say the familiarity with the environments will be crucial in a situation when every second is critical.

"You can imagine the chaos if this place was full," says Thomas. "The seconds are important to us to know where and what things are going to be."

The next step is to meet with the schools' administrators and go over what the officers found and what they think is lacking.

They say this can help prevent a critical incident from happening in the first place.

"It gives us the opportunity to build confidence to know that law enforcement and the school system is doing everything we can do together to prevent as much as we can," says Thornton.

Schools participating are Mossy Creek, North Augusta Middle, North Augusta Elementary, Hammond Hills, Paul Knox and North Augusta High.



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