Active shooter training for local law enforcement should be held at Anniston City School buildings this summer, after a school board vote Thursday night to allow it.

According to Cpl. Donald McGraw, a school resource officer for the school board from the Anniston police, said the department will make use of the high school, middle school and two of the elementary schools sometime this summer for “active threat” training, which includes active shooter drills, hostage situations and various situational training.

“As SRO, I’m the one who would know the layout,” McGraw told the school board during its meeting. “If something happens (at one of the schools) and I’m not there to help guide them, it would help the day and night shift officers to know the layout of the school.”

Board president Robert Houston commended the idea, though he noted that the request to the board lacked a schedule for the training.

McGraw said the police department would be in touch with principals at each school to arrange dates for training. He said after the meeting that specific elementary schools had yet to be chosen, and added that Calhoun County 911 would be aware of the training and ready for calls about the mock training, which may involve real police vehicles at the schools.

During the meeting, the board also:

— Noted that the school’s general fund balance had a surplus of $701,801 in April, compared to a deficit of $44,256 in April. Board member Joan Frazier said the difference was “commendable.” She noted that the surplus would probably decrease through the remainder of the fiscal year, but “we want it to decrease slowly, so at the end of the fiscal year we don’t have a number in parenthesis,” an accounting method of showing negative funds, or have “at least a dramatically lower number in the red.”

— Thanked Marlon Jones for his work as interim school board superintendent, a span from the beginning of the year when former superintendent Darren Douthitt resigned from the position until last month, when the school board hired Matthew Alexander, a superintendent from Barbour County.

“You have done an amazing job,” Houston said. “You stepped in at a time when we needed you the most.”

Jones said he appreciated the board for giving him the opportunity to serve and putting their trust in him.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Alexander so the system can keep moving forward,” Jones said.

Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally: 256-235-3560. 

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