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Local law enforcement prepared to handle shooting if needed
Ken Brown mug for web
Georgia Southern University Police Chief Ken Brown
    While no one wants a disaster such as the Virginia Technical College shootings to take place in their community,  Georgia Southern University Police Chief Ken Brown said local law enforcement is ready to handle such a volatile situation.
    "God forbid, we would definitely all pull together," he said.
    When a disaster happens in the Bulloch County area, jurisdiction lines disappear and every agency helps deal with the problem, he said.
    All law enforcement agencies in the county are part of a mutual aid agreement where one agency - determined by the jurisdiction where the emergency occurs - leads the investigation and response while others back them up, he said.
    In the event an emergency such as the Virginia Tech shootings took place at Georgia Southern University, "GSU Police would be the primary (agency) but we would assist if they needed us," said Statesboro Police Chief Stan York. "All law enforcement disciplines would respond. We would put all our resources together."
    Brown said all Bulloch County law enforcement and public safety agencies historically have worked well together. "We work very closely together, share a common radio network."
    But as far as preparation for such a disaster, "How do you prevent ... a random act of insanity?" he said.
    The university is "by nature an open institution," he said. "There are different opinions, points of view, and academic debate is encouraged. You don't want to turn it into a military reservation with an officer in every classroom."
    If such a major disaster occurred, "It would require all agencies - the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, FBI, all of our people in Statesboro just to secure the crime scene," Brown said.
    Regular hands-on training exercises where emergency situations are staged help keep local law enforcement on their toes regarding emergency response, he said. Such exercises have included a mock terrorist attack at a public school, a simulated hazardous materials spill near the hospital, and a pseudo laboratory explosion at one of the GSU buildings.
    But, "even in a role-playing situation, this (Monday's shooting) is off the scale," he said.
    Brown expressed his shock and compassion for those involved in the Virginia Tech massacre.
    "All our prayers should go out to the people in Virginia," he said. "All you can do is ask why something like this should happen? Thank God it's never happened here, and it goes without saying we hope it never does."
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