SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) – Preparing for the worst means preparing for an active shooter, and that’s what St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies are doing, preparing, at an elementary school in Slidell.

Although there were no students at Mayfield Elementary School on Tuesday, the scenario was as realistic as possible.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies swarmed Mayfield Elementary School during an active shooter drill.

While inside, deputies went from classroom to classroom to neutralize the threat.

“They’re using simunitions. They’re using the real weapons that they’re actually trained with, they’re certified with,” Sheriff Randy Smith explained. “It builds not only the training capacity of what they need to know, but it also builds the relationship between each other on what to do and how to do it.”

Dozens of deputies were stationed on campus along with many of the department’s resources.

Safety was a big consideration. Deputies arrived at the school an hour before the drill started to make sure there were no live rounds in their firearms.

Sheriff Smith says planning the drill started this past summer.

“We started, of course, right after the active shooter in Texas,” Smith said. “We started preparing the training class just to get our guys familiarized with this type of training.”

The sheriff says the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, sparked a conversation among him and his deputies.

“Because it could happen here, it could happen anywhere as we’ve seen, and we don’t want to make the mistake by not being trained and prepared to respond to any type of active shooter,” the sheriff said.

This is the third active shooter drill under Smith’s watch, and according to him, it won’t be the last.

“Practice makes perfect, and we’re going to continue to practice just to make sure that if we do have an incident, we’re well trained,” Smith said.

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