Guilford County sheriff talks preparedness after Florida school shooting

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. --The deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, Wednesday is another tragic example of why law enforcement across the country and in the Piedmont have been stepping up their active shooter training exercises.

“I think about my kids and in my particular case, my grandkids,” Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes said. “It could have just as easily been them."

It's a scenario Barnes hopes never happens in Guilford County, but it's one he says his deputies are prepared for.

"We train at a different school every single year," Barnes said.

"We know the schematics,” he said. “We know the floor plans. We know the exit points."

Each summer, deputies go through active shooter situations at schools.

"After Columbine, that was one of the first things that I did,” he said.

Deputies and school resource officers use real-life situations, learning how to take down an attacker and get students and staff to safety.

"The only thing we don't use, of course, is live rounds," he said.

They also do regular safety checks at schools and offer security training before each school year.

But Barnes says the biggest way to prevent a school shooting is to say something if you see something.

"We can also stop it before it does happen,” he said.

For example, a BB gun was taken from a Guilford County student at school last year.

"This could put your eye out,” Barnes said, holding the gun. “This could literally kill you if it hits you in the right place."

Barnes say they out found out after another student reported it.

"This is the type of thing we want to keep out of the schools, along with the real guns," Barnes said. ​

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