WINONA – Montgomery County law enforcement officers and first responders will go through a Mississippi Homeland Security-led training which will focus on active shooters in public places.
With the recent shootings in Southaven, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Winona Chief of Police Tommy Bibbs said he contacted Homeland Security to ensure local officers, firemen, and paramedics were prepared if the unthinkable happened here.
“Sheriff [Bubba] Nix is in total agreement with [holding this training] because his department needs the training, too. We are collaborating.”
Bibbs said in a recent meeting with Nix, Dr. Teresa Jackson, Superintendent of Winona-Montgomery Consolidated School District, and Charlie Parkerson, operations officer for the district, they discussed various scenarios of response in the event of an active shooter. Bibbs said there is a state law mandating all teachers receive training on how to respond to an active shooter.
Bibbs said he contacted the Homeland Security to find out what kind of training was available.
“I found out that they also do trainings for churches as well as schools,” Bibbs said.
Law enforcement are given an advanced two-day training for law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel, and Bibbs said the training will be held next month.
“We are also going to try to get all the churches together in one place [for a training],” Bibbs said. “There are two parts to that training, one for the congregation and one for the [church’s] security team.”
Bibbs said these days with many holding concealed carry permit, many think they can handle a dangerous situation, but he said the gun owner could be held liable for what happens.
“Criminally, you may be justified, but you might have some sort of civil liability that police officers don’t have,” he said.
Bibbs said he is working to create two special response teams (SRT) in Winona to be prepared for any situation.
“Kids and the general public are my top concern,” Bibbs said. “As chief, I will do all I can to make sure the police officers are adequately trained, and they can do their jobs because when the time comes, I want them to be prepared,” Bibbs said.