There were sirens, screams and the smell of gunpowder in the air Friday morning as students scrambled to find a safe place to hide from a shooter lurking in the halls.
The Sebastian County SWAT team arrived on the scene geared up for a fight as shots rang out from the rooftop.
Thankfully it was all a drill. A drill designed to simulate the chaotic conditions of the real thing.
The students were actors suited up in goggles, protective gear and given instructions by the officers on the scene.
Shots were fired but the bullets were special paint bullets designed to leave a mark without causing damage.
The play fight took on an eerie tone as SWAT members breached the door and were immediately fired upon by their pretend assailant.
It all took place on a gloomy, muddy day at Fort Chaffee in a mock town inside of cinder block building designated as the school for the day.
The national news is rife with mass shootings in churches and schools. The county and the school are doing what they can to prevent every parent's worst nightmare from becoming a reality in this part of the world.
One of the many steps the Greenwood School District has taken is to hire Jim Caudle to act as the school’s Director of School Safety and Security.
Caudle is a former FBI Special Agent. “FBI retirement is mandatory at age 57,” said Caudle. Jim was retired for one day and then began working with Greenwood Schools in September of last year after the retirement of Jim Bynum the schools director of operations and transportation.
“We decided to restructure that position,” said Suzy Wilson, Assistant Superintendent. “We wanted to bring on someone that could head up safety and security. We felt like that is what the school district needed.
We were lucky enough to be able to hire Mr. Caudle with his background and incredible resume.”
Once Caudle took the job he began by reviewing all of the school’s security procedures and helped the school apply for grants like the $50,774 that will be used to implement a key card entry system to 26 doors at the high school as well as the junior high school and a grant that allowed the school district to add another resource officer.