Morrow County Sheriff Kenneth Matlack has directed the sheriff’s office to engage in continuous training on many different law enforcement scenarios, and this includes training with other law enforcement agencies. The idea is to be on the same page and be trained on the same procedures — when one agency responds to assist another, we are one cohesive unit.
By working together as a team we are able to provide better service to the public. Our number one goal is to preserve life and provide public safety and security. It is important to have the personnel and resources to properly and safely provide the services required. Having deputies patrolling the county 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and having school resource officers in our schools is required to maintain public safety and security.
Our school resource officers are in the schools working with the students and staff daily. We want the students, staff and parents to be comfortable with contacting law enforcement with issues or concerns, and we accomplish this by building relationships.
Active shooter incidents are a major concern and can occur anywhere, from large cities to small communities. During an active shooter incident the key is to stop the threat. We won’t wait for a SWAT team or 10 deputies to respond before deciding what to do. We will rely on our training and respond appropriately.
If we hear shots, we react. We go to the shots and neutralize the threat, period. There is no excuse for not reacting. If we don’t react, people are hurt or killed. That is not acceptable. Our duty is to preserve life and provide public safety and security. We plan and train for the worst and hope for the best.
John A. Bowles is Morrow County undersheriff.