Sumner Co. Sheriff Issues 'Active Shooter Bags' To Deputies
by Adam Ghassemi
GALLATIN, Tenn. – It doesn't matter who is going through training. The scenario is almost always the same: an active shooter is inside a school and officers have to figure out how to stop them.
Sumner County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Burgett has been through that type of training many times during his four years as the School Resource Officer, or SRO, at Station Camp High School.
It's harder than ever to get inside the building because of security features including an advanced network of cameras accessible from Burgett's office and smart phone.
The latest tool in his office is a small, black shoulder bag that sits between his desk and the door in case he needs to respond quickly.
It's called an "active shooter bag" and includes everything from food, water, as well as a map and directory of the school, to more crucial items like magazines of extra ammunition for confronting a shooter, or medical supplies for helping victims.
"The packaging here can actually be used to close a sucking chest wound," Burgett explained showing a small kit that also contains gauze and gloves.
Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford bought 100 bags after realizing the days of fistfights and then shaking hands have long been replaced with planned out attacks.
"It's sad that we have to do that, but unfortunately we're at that state, that part of the game where we have to proactive and look at the future," Weatherford said. "I think it's just an essential piece of equipment just like all the other equipment that we have to do with our job."
Most of them are already in the hands of deputies and nearly all SROs.
Even though they have a new weapon they hope it's for a war they'll never have to fight.
"I hope I go through the rest of my career and this stuff does nothing but collect dust," Burgett said.
Weatherford said the bags cost $5,000, and came from money seized from drug cases. He said Sumner County is the first in the mid-state, and possibly the entire state to have them.
Plans are already in place to continue adding SROs and active shooter bags to cover every school.
The bags are always secured inside a deputy's vehicle or in an SRO's office. They purposely do not contain a weapon to prevent anyone trying to carry out an attack.