BRANCH COUNTY, Mich. — Sheriff John Pollack recently read on social media that a local Facebook group stated that he was offering active-shooter training. Wednesday afternoon, he addressed their comments online, stating that it was not true.
“We don’t have the ability to train people to that level,” said Sheriff Pollack during an interview at the station in Coldwater. “I can train somebody how to safely handle a handgun. I can’t certify anybody in those kinds of things.”
The group Protect Our Children 1st also stated that he believes all teachers should be armed. While he supports the 2nd Amendment and people’s right to bare arms, he said the best thing for schools to do is have an emergency plan in place.
“With school safety, there’s many things that can be done before we need to be arming people inside the school,” said Sheriff Pollack. “That’s a decision that the school has to make.”
He suggested schools begin to have conversations with teachers, faculties, students and parents about what to do should an active-shooter situations arise. A plan should be in place that irons out all the details on everything, from how kids are to react in their classrooms to what parents should do when they’re waiting outside.
“We, in school, we had to train to get underneath our desk,” said Sheriff Pollack about the Cold War Era. “Every month or so we’d have a training and the schools need to do that.”
He said his department doesn’t conduct active-shooter drills but there are other law enfacement agencies in the state that do. There’s also private companies that offer training services as well.
“I hope and pray that we never have to get to that situation,” said Sheriff Pollack. “But we can’t always rely on that. We have to be prepared.”