FBI trains local agencies to prevent shooting tragedy

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - It's a nightmare that we've seen played out in this country time after time, a gunman enters a public place such as a movie theatre, mall or a school and opens fire.

The unthinkable happens, many times by surprise; that's why Jim Harrison, the FBI's resident agent in Augusta, says it's important for our agencies to know how to keep a dangerous situation from turning deadly.

"I think it could happen anytime and anywhere," said Harrison.

Friday morning representatives from schools, first responders, fire department officials and law enforcement officers came to a training session with the FBI to learn what they'd need to do if there was an active shooter in the CSRA.

"It's just a matter of preparing everybody to respond and take control and minimize the damage," Harrison, said.

Gina Young, the FBI's Assistant Press Information Officer, says the FBI's role changed after recent mass shooting tragedies.

"It used to be locals responded on their own and then called out for additional assistance. Now we'll respond together, we'll have an organized command center and everybody will be working together as a uniform team," she said.

Harrison says if the unthinkable were to happen here, they're ready to do everything possible to keep another tragedy from happening.

"We're very well prepared," he said.

Friday's training session wrapped up the two day conference, which was held at Georgia Regents University.

Local agencies were also coached on dealing with explosives and working with the media.