MORAN — A mock drill involving an active shooter at Marmaton Valley High School will be conducted by area law enforcement officers, Sheriff Bryan Murphy informed Moran City Council members Monday night.
Students, teachers and faculty members will be involved in the life-like scenario.
Council members gave Murphy permission to use a meeting room in City Hall as a command center during the drill.
“The only question is not if an incident will happen, but when,” Murphy told council members. “We want to be prepared.”
Shane Smith, Moran chief of police, threw his support behind the exercise.
“It will be a good test to see what all needs to be done,” Smith told councilmen. He expects it to be “an eye-opening experience,” for those who attend and work at the school.
Moran residents can learn more about the drill at a community meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 14. at the high school.
Then, Murphy, Smith and Jason Kegler, a deputy, will outline the ALICE concept of responding to a shooting incident. ALICE is an acronym for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, and is designed to enhance the “run, hide, fight” protocol recommended by the FBI, Homeland Security and other agencies.
“The community meeting will give area residents a chance to ask questions and offer ideas,” Smith said.
A similar community meeting will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at Allen County Courthouse.
The mock drill at MVHS will not be announced ahead of time, and is likely to carry on the biggest share of a school day, Murphy said.
MVHS isn’t unprepared, Smith observed.
“They’ve done quite a bit to be ready for an incident of any kind,” including locking all but a main door during class time and having cameras situated throughout the school, which not only would record what was occurring but also give responders a visual link in real-time.
AT THE URGING of Kathy Ward, a board member of Thrive Allen County, and a resident of Moran, council members will look closer at what the city might do to take advantage of grant money to provide healthier living opportunities, foremost a walking trail.
“We need to pursue projects and grants,” Ward admonished. An outcome of her plea is David Toland, Thrive director, will be invited to an upcoming council meeting to give a better idea of what can be done, as well as financing opportunities.
“We talked about a walking trail before,” but community conversation was dashed by concerns about how residents might take to having a designated trail near their homes, said Councilman Jim Mueller. “One might like it, one might not. At that time there wasn’t much interest.”
“We need Toland to come and tell us more,” injected Mayor Phillip Merkel.
As for another community effort, councilmen were told the MVHS Future Farmers of America chapter has learned of a lot that may be suitable for a community garden.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, councilmen:
— Discontinued a rental program for home surge suppressers, through which the devices were rented for $3 a month. City Clerk Lori Evans said just six residents took advantage and it was time to replace the surge suppressers.
— Renewed annual support for Moran’s Pride Committee.
— Learned from Smith that Enbridge Pipeline will give Moran a $1,000 grant through its Safe Community Program.