Cleveland High School scene of active shooter drill

Police chief said goal was to 'feel the chaos'

CLEVELAND, Texas - The increase in school shootings has law enforcement agencies preparing for the worst. For the past week, several agencies in Cleveland have been learning how to handle a situation if someone with a gun entered a school and started shooting.

On Friday morning, the agencies put those skills to the test.

"We  tested out our resources, human and material and technology, to see what we could do," said Chief Rex Evans of the Cleveland ISD Police Department.

First responders entered Cleveland High School campus as if there was a gunman in the school. Volunteers played frantic bystanders and injured people along the way.

 "Some had to act dead or injured," said Evans.

The police chief said that the goal was to truly feel the chaos that would take place in a real active-shooter event.

"I believe our training has paid off and we are trained. We have the proper equipment and we are more prepared than we were before," said Evans.

All of the student "victims" were volunteers from the High School ROTC Program.

The training helped pinpoint strengths and weaknesses if the real thing ever happened.

"We pray that this never happens, but to know that we have been trained for it and we are prepared for it and we have the equipment is far better than not," said Evans.

 And law enforcement weren't the only ones who learned something from the drill; students did, too.

"Situations like these, they don't happen very often, so you have to be prepared," said Jose Arias, a student volunteer.

Evans said the exercise was a way for the department to learn how to use all of their resources collectively.

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