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Law enforcement agencies break down active shooter response

Triad law enforcement said their number one goal is to take down the threat in the school immediately.

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — While law enforcement agencies often can't go into detail about the specifics of their active shooter response plan, their goal is to take down the threat immediately. 

Law enforcement officials in Texas are facing questions about their response times to a school shooting in Uvalde that left 19 children and 2 adults dead. Officials said police waited 48 minutes before pursuing the shooter inside the school.

Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page said, at schools, the first line of defense is the school resource officer. However, if the school does not have one, the reaction still must be fast. 

"The first officer on (the) scene doesn't wait for backup," Page said. "If he hears the shots (and) an active shooter is in progress, he moves towards the threat access(es) the facility, (goes) to the threat, (stops) the threat."

Sheriff Page said the average active shooter situation lasts around seven minutes so time is of the essence. 

"Minutes are critical, seconds are critical, it’s all about saving lives," Page said.

RELATED: Police waited 48 minutes in school before pursuing shooter

Lt. Sammy Peddycord with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said they don't wait around.

"If there's gunfire heard (and an) officers there, he's going to the gunfire," said Peddycord. "We're not stopping. We're not maintaining or setting up a perimeter. We're going to the threat and stopping the threat immediately."

Lt. Peddycord said they train to respond to active shooter situations solo and in teams at least once a year. Back-up during the situation can come from all over the region. 

"That call will come out and it will get broadcasted by communications and you could have agencies as far as twenty, twenty-five miles away from your jurisdiction," Peddycord said. 

Former Greensboro Police officer and private investigator Ed Cobbler does active shooter training for churches. He said the reaction to an active shooting must be fast.

"It's all about quick action and trying to take the target out," said Cobbler. "If that means deadly force then that's what it means. Because normally if it's an active shooter situation somebody has already been injured or killed and so it's got to be a fast response time."

In a statement, the Greensboro Police Department:

"An active shooter call for service is a priority one call for service. The nature of this type (of) call requires an immediate response from all available personnel on duty at the time of the incident. This includes not only patrol officers but also personnel from our Criminal Investigative Division and our Special Operations Division.

The Greensboro Police Department provides staffing for each middle and high school within the city limits with a School Resource Officer."

RELATED: Rockingham County increases law enforcement presence at schools

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