Allen officials hold active shooter training at Oakdale High Sch - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Allen officials hold active shooter training at Oakdale High School

(Source: Haley Rush/KPLC) (Source: Haley Rush/KPLC)
OAKDALE, LA (KPLC) - What began as a calm Thursday morning at Oakdale High School unfolded into a full-scale emergency training exercise by the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office. 

Roads were blocked off and the school surrounded as dozens of first responders spread across the school, trying to locate the "shooter" as part of a simulation.

Students were also part of the exercise. Classrooms were put on lockdown, a measure they've practiced before, according to Oakdale principal Nancy Willis.

"We pray we don't have to face anything like that, but if we do, we want to be prepared for it," said Willis. "With things that are going on in our country -- just all the gun violence and incidents of this happening in schools particularly -- we wanted to be prepared."

The exercise was meant to be realistic, and as such, it was up to those inside the school to spot the "shooter" and notify authorities. Police then had to locate the suspect while first responders dealt with "wounded victims." There were even volunteer role players depicting distressed parents trying to enter the building.

"The thing about it is it's a community effort," said school board member Steven Sumbler. "We are all concerned about safety in our schools, and this is one of the efforts we practice, and the thing about it is if this ever happens, we will have a game plan already put in place."

Multiple Allen Parish agencies participated in the training exercise. There was a debriefing at the end of the simulation to address what could have been done differently, but overall, everyone says they feel much more prepared and much safer.

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