Active shooter drill planned

FONDA — Significant police presence is expected to be seen at the Fonda-Fultonville Central School on Wednesday as the district will be participating in a active shooter drill along with multiple emergency management and police agencies.

The purpose of the active shooter drill is to practice and improve communications in emergency situations.

“No one wants to imagine that scenario like this could ever happen in our community, but we need to be prepared for the unthinkable,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith. “This will be an elaborate training simulation, meant to keep authorities sharp and prepared.”

According to a release, the active shooter drill that is being funded by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security will put a focus on Montgomery County’s response to an active threat incident.

“The incident is not real; however, the response activities during this fictional exercise will be practiced in a manner that is as realistic as possible,” said Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Rick Sager. “It is an important opportunity for emergency responders and the school district to test procedures and ultimately strengthen them.”

Local and state agencies participating in the active shooter drill include the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Amsterdam police, state police, Canajoharie police, Fort Plain police and St. Johnsville police.

Community members are asked to avoid the area and expect to see possible road closures in the area.

“Our participation is an indication of how seriously we take the safety of our students and the adults in our school buildings,” said Fonda-Fultonville Central School District Superintendent Thomas Ciaccio. “What we learn from the drill will only enhance our efforts to ensure a safe and secure environment for all who are a part of our school community.”

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort said the active shooter drill will help first responders prepare if an active shooting were to ever take place.

“I think it’s extremely important that we do everything in our power to perfect our response because maintaining the safety of our schools and the community is a top priority.”