It's the kind of tragedy we all hope doesn't hit too close to home, but first responders in Cape May are making sure they are prepared in case it does happen.
They practiced a school shooting drill at the Richard M. Teitelman School.
One by one they rushed through the doors, each one on a mission to keep everyone safe.
"It can happen anywhere. It's about being prepared and being trained on how to handle any situation," said Lower Township Chief of Police, Brian Marker.
They are preparing for a school emergency where a shooter has taken over the building.
For eight years the Lower Township Police Department, the Cape May County Prosecutors Office, and the Cape May County Regional Swat Team have partnered up to practice these simulated scenarios.
This year police say they are taking even more precautions following the tragedy in Connecticut.
"Obviously everyone is very concerned about what happened in Newtown," said Robert Taylor, Cape May County Prosecutor.
The Swat Team uses specific methods depending on what is happening inside of the school. In a hostage situation police may compromise with the shooter to ensure the victims safety. In other scenarios the plan could involve a more intense approach.
"They have a strategic way of making sure they are able to respond into the classrooms and hallways in a way that keeps them safe as well as other staff members," said Marker.
During parts of the drill our cameras were now allowed to follow the action. This is because the officers were practicing confidential techniques. If these techniques were to be compromised a shooter could possibly outsmart the professionals.
While students and teachers were not involved in this simulation, police have been training them for this type of emergency by making sure they know how to lock their doors from the inside and how to contact the professionals for help through a panic button system.
The Cape May officials practice this type of shooting drill at least twice a year. Everyone that was at the drill including the actors were trained professionals.
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