MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The Texas school mass shooting hits close to home for one Mid-South city. Last year, a gunman opened fire, injuring 14 people, and killing one woman in the Kroger store in Collierville.
A day after 19 students and two teachers were shot and killed by a gunman in Texas, gut-wrenching memories immediately come back for Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane.
“You know all of the emotions that go with that and understanding the tragedies that their families are dealing with and the heartache and pain,” Lane said. “My wife and I want to keep them in our prayers and it’s just a horrific event, especially when you see small children involved.”
On September 23 last year, Chief Lane was in charge of leading the response team after a recently fired contracted worker at Kroger opened fire, injuring 14 people, and killing one woman.
“A big thing for us is not just our response on that day, it’s the training moving forward to make sure that we just don’t set back and say it will never happen again. We actually have another training event coming up this week where we’ll be training with multiple law enforcement agencies, fire, and at a local school,” Lane said.
But what can really be done to keep our students safe while at school? Collierville has resource officers in every school, But Lane said parents and administrators must communicate.
“As parents, as the school year starts, talk to your principal, talk to the administrative staff about the emergency plans that are in place that there,” he said.
As for the Collierville Police Department, Lane said it’s all about prevention and investigating school-related threats.
“We follow it as far as we can. We’re going to go to the house. We’re going to talk to the parents and if we can get consent to search electronic devices to see if there is a next level of planning,” he said.
It’s planning to prevent a tragedy as another community tries to heal from the grief of a mass shooting.
“It’s going to be a lifetime of tragedy for some families, but we can come out of this better and stronger, and that’s what we’ve seen in our community,” Lane said.
Chief Lane also said it’s very important for law enforcement to be open and educate the public to avoid misinformation through social media.