Dugan Memorial Home to hold active shooter drill

Mary Rumore
Staff Writer

Dugan Memorial Home will hold an active shooter drill on the morning of Oct. 10.

Emergency Management Director Kerrie Blissard said with recent tragic events, Dugan Memorial Home updated their emergency plans, and the drill would allow them and the community as a whole to test active shooter plans.

Blissard said West Point Community Living Center, Fresenius Medical Care, North Mississippi Medical Center - West Point, West Point Fire Department, coroner, West Point Police Department, West Point Consolidated School District and Oak Hill Academy will participate in the drill.

Blissard said Dugan Memorial Home will go into lockdown as if there was a real active shooter.

“In the scenario, the active shooter will leave Dugan and be last seen going north on Eshman Avenue toward West Point Community Living Center to implement their plan as if it were a real event,” Blissard said.

WPCSD Assistant Superintendent Tim Fowler said while East Side Elementary is closest to Dugan Memorial Home, all the schools in the district will participate in the drill, including West Clay Elementary.

“Any time there is an active shooter, bank robbery or anything else, schools in close proximity to the event will go into lock out, which is different than lock down,” Fowler said. “The doors will be locked and no one will be allowed in or out of the schools except law enforcement.”

Fowler said it is important for parents to understand that in a real active shooter situation or during a drill, parents needed to stay away from schools for everyone’s safety.

Fowler said this drill will allow the district to test communication between schools and 911 in an emergency situation.

Fowler said WPCSD still uses the Guard911 smartphone app in case of a real active shooter, but the app will not be used during the drill.

Blizzard said residents should avoid the Main Street and down town area on Tuesday morning.

“This is something we pray we never have to use, but it is better to be proactive than reactive,” Blizzard said.

West Point Police Chief Avery Cook said he, Blissard and Sheriff Eddie Scott will meet on Thursday to further plan the active shooter drill.