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Lafayette Parish SROs prepare for the upcoming school year

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Lafayette Parish SROs prepare for the upcoming school year

Lafayette, La (KADN)- "We want to create the chaos now so they will know how to respond to it."

School resource officers throughout the parish are doing some homework of their own this summer. Each officer took part in intense active shooter drills.

Public information officer for the sheriff's department, Valerie Ponseti, says it was important to have all agencies training together. "To help with that consistency and the continuity and make sure that everyone is on the same page. They are receiving the same training, and the same values instilled in them so that we can have the same confidence in all these SROS."

Ponsetti says by putting the SROS through drills involving an active shooter on school grounds. Parents can expect officers on campus to respond actively, never hesitating to protect children at the school.

"High-pressure situations, we try to make it as realistic as possible, so they will be able to respond and let stress get the best of them. Not second-guessing themselves," says Ponsetti.

Lafayette parent Nick Allemond says he has full confidence in the school resource officers and their ability to keep everyone on school campuses safe in case of an active shooter. "I know they will not stand to have an officer standby. If they get a call, they are not waiting. They are not going to wait thirty minutes to an hour til you get twenty people, and then they are going to go inside. They are going to go inside by themselves if they have to."

As the training drills continue, both Ponsetti and Allemond believe Lafayette Parish schools will continue to be safe for everyone.

"Practice makes perfect. All you can do is practice, practice. You know you have to put something in place and practice it out," says Allemond.

"We want to overwhelm them now. We want to make sure they can understand what needs to be done in those high-pressure, high anxiety situations," says Ponsetti.

Ponsetti reiterated that security resource officers won't hesitate in case of an active shooter. The school year for Lafayette Parish begins on August 11 for all students. Ponsetti says SROS regularly undergoes different training scenarios throughout the year.

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