With school out across Fayette County schools Monday, Peachtree City and Fayetteville police used an empty Bennetts Mill Middle School to practice for a situation they hope never happens - a shooting and hostage standoff with students involved.
Officials said the exercise, which featured fully-outfitted SWAT teams infiltrating the middle school, had nothing to do with the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, late last year. Lt. Mark Brown with the Peachtree City police said they've had the exercise on their calendar for several months.
"We try to keep it pretty realistic," said Brown. "We're blessed by some good role players, as close as we can without causing damage to the school. We keep it as real as possible."
Several students stood in as the hostages, and SWAT team members carried guns loaded with fake ammunition during the exercises.
Brown said they execute similar exercises at other schools at least once a year.
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