MOORE COUNTY — Imagine being in very close quarters with an active shooter and you have seconds to come up with a plan to control the situation and survive. At Samarcand Training Academy, officials use the Active Shooter exercise to prepare for just th6at situation.
During the Scotland County Board of Commissioners meeting this month, members were invited to come and observe the event by Sheriff’s Office deputy Daryll Ford. On Monday, County Chairman Whit Gibson, Vice Chair Carol McCall and Assistant to County Manager Travis Allen attended the exercise, which is used by U.S. Marshals, the military and law enforcement across the country.
“It’s a dark room filled with screens and projectors (and) the floor can move,” Allen said. “Their computers can upload any scenario.”
A 300-degree immersed program provides simulated training by video. Any location and any amount of shooters can be added to the screens. Students also wear an apparatus on the back that shocks the person if they have been shot.
For Gibson, the event affected him more because of his previous experience as a security officer for a bank.
“I was impressed — the equipment, graphics, felt like you were in a real situation. It really is a fantastic experience (and) it gives us a better understanding of what they are training for,” said Gibson. “The goal now is for more local deputies and officers to be trained there.”
The academy in Moore County was converted from an old empty youth development center to a Department of Public Safety training facility in 2012. Over the past four years, a firearm range, dormitories, and dining hall were added. It now spans over 430 acres in Moore County and when complete in 2019, Samarcand will have 11 classrooms, dormitory space capable of housing 162 students and 10 instructors, and newly constructed dining hall. Also added are a firearms training center with two ranges and a range house.
Members of the school board are planning to visit the the academy and see the training on Tuesday from 9:30 a.m to noon.