New Mid-South task force wants to be proactive about school safety

SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) - Being proactive about school safety--that's the emphasis of a new united effort by political, school, and law enforcement leaders in Memphis and Shelby County.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said Friday that more has to be done to address school safety, and that's why he's heading up a task force in hopes of preventing a tragedy in the Mid-South.

Luttrell said the mass school shooting in South Florida last week was his breaking point.

"We've got to get this thing to the point where we're shocked enough to act," Luttrell said. "What we need to do is bring our ideas to the table. Let's filter them, let's try to see how it's going to fit."

Luttrell is the ringleader of a new school safety task force that's working to find new and creative ways to address school safety.

He said in the next eight to 10 days that he plans to meet with several local elected officials to brainstorm in hopes of being proactive.

Luttrell's office wants to take a look at whether there are enough School Resource Officers in schools, and they plan to partner with Shelby County Office of Emergency Preparedness.

That office has already held active shooter training sessions in schools and around the community--even before the Florida school shooting.

Dale Lane, director of Office of Emergency Preparedness, showed WMC Action News 5 a video they use for training. They say run, hide, then if necessary fight.

"What we're trying to do is equip the teachers with the tools they can survive that three to five minutes it'll take traditionally for law enforcement to arrive and intervene," Lane said.

Lane said they're also encouraging people to see something, say something. The goal is to keep our schools safe.

"We've got to do all we can to counter this culture of silence," Lane said.

There will be two active shooter training classes offered on March 3 by the Office of Emergency Preparedness. One is at 9 a.m., and the other is at 1:30 p.m. They are one-hour courses, and they are free.

For more information, you can call 901-222-6700

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