Miami-Dade School Police prep for emergencies during school year

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami-Dade Schools Police held a drill in case of emergencies this upcoming school year.

It’s that time of year to head back to school and officials are doing everything in their power to make sure all students and staff will be safe while on campus.

Every year Miami-Dade County Public Schools conduct these safety drills and emergency exercises, and this year was no different. Officials said that at Wednesday’s drill, they focused on extracurricular activities.

In one scenario, police had to come face to face with an active shooter at the Traz Powell Stadium, which is home to many high school football games. In 2015, one of the evening games was disrupted by gunfire.

“Throughout the years, we’ve had incidences occur at extra curricular activities, sporting events,” said Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Ian Moffett. “We’ve taken some measures to shore that up, so I wanted to test what we’ve actually done in the event that something happens, how we respond.”

At the stadium, emergency crews and their protocols were put to the test. Over 100 officers from Miami-Dade Schools Police, Miami-Dade PD and Miami-Dade College emergency officials took part in the drill. “You just have to be prepared. We have a tremendous responsibility when we have students, in some cases minors, on campus,” said Miami-Dade College Communications Director Juan Mendieta. “We have to be able to respond accordingly. More importantly, we have to be able to collaborate with the other agencies.”

“It’s really important to have that inner agency collaboration, integration, communication,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Alvarez. “How are we gonna work together? How are we gonna talk on the radios? All of the little details that you don’t really think about until the incident occurs, that’s what we have to iron out. That’s why we’re here today.”

After the exercises, they will evaluate their overall response and communication. “We have after-action reviews,” Moffett said. “We look at what we can do better. What training is needed, what equipment is needed? These are all things on why we do this.”

It’s a scenario officials hope they can prevent, but Wednesday’s exercise was to ensure they are prepared if they ever get that dreadful call.

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