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High and Middle Schools conduct lockdown drill with help from law enforcement

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At right, K-9 Brucha with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office makes her way back from the Middle School after completing a hallway sweep during the lockdown drill on October 18, 2017. With her are her handler, Deputy Travis Earl, Glens Falls Police Detective Lieutenant Peter Casertino, and Middle School Principal Chris Reed. K-9 Brucha was named in honor of the late Sr. Investigator Bruce Hamilton.

October 18, 2017—Officers and K-9 teams from multiple law enforcement agencies were on site at the High School/Middle School campus on Wednesday, as the buildings conducted a lockdown drill—in which students and staff practice the emergency response procedures for an internal threat.

The drill began at approximately 9:20 a.m. with students and staff members securing themselves inside classrooms, as administrators rehearsed each building’s emergency response protocol. Law enforcement officers from the Glens Falls Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, and Ticonderoga Police Department swept the buildings, helping to evaluate the procedures. A total of eleven K-9 teams conducted a sweep of the lockers and hallways in both schools as part of the drill.

"The drill was a great opportunity to actually do a real time practice session of a campus lockdown under fairly realistic conditions," said Middle School Principal Chris Reed. "For the students, it was as real as it could get. They were not aware of the drill date or time and were instructed about how to act during the process."

“One of the reasons we conduct lockdown drills is to have law enforcement become comfortable in, and familiar with, our facilities,” said High School Principal Tammy Silvernell. “The law enforcement agencies also provide us with valuable information that helps make adjustments to our routines and protocols,” she continued.

“As an example, an officer noted that one person’s feet were visible from behind a desk within one of our locked-down classrooms this morning,” said Superintendent Paul Jenkins, who also participated in the drill. The district-level safety plan for a lockdown calls for all students and staff members to take a seated position on the floor next to the wall, out of view from the door window. “This is why we practice what to do in different classroom configurations and locations around each building,” he said.

Important to note is that lockdowns affect community members and students outside of the school building as well, said Detective Lieutenant Peter Casertino, who helped oversee the drill. Every school building has a red emergency light mounted above the main entrances to the school. If anyone is approaching a building and sees the red light flashing, that means there is an emergency inside, and outsiders should not approach. “People should stay far back from the building, and get into a car, if possible, to protect themselves during the situation,” said Detective Lieutenant Casertino.

(To view a video clip of the flashing red light, so you know what to look for, visit the district’s Facebook page at

"Whenever we are able to take an opportunity to conduct on-site training with our local law enforcement, it's time well spent," noted Mr. Reed. "Everyone involved in the process is concerned with making the school as safe as it can possibly be in the unlikely event of any type of catastrophic emergency situation."

School administrators and members of the Glens Falls Police Department immediately reviewed Wednesday’s drill results and the corrective criticism was shared with teachers and staff within hours of the drill.

Law enforcement officials also used portions of the drill as a training exercise for the K-9s. Teams participating in the drill included:

  • Glens Falls Police Officer Chris Perilli with K-9 Phlash
  • Glens Falls Police Sergeant Jarred Smith with K-9 Neeko
  • Saratoga Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Potter with K-9 Bud
  • Saratoga Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Petrie with K-9 Stuka
  • Saratoga Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Denno with K-9 Jager
  • Saratoga Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Rob Whipple with K-9 Karma
  • Saratoga Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Talmadge with K-9 Jacie
  • Washington Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Sandy Blodgett with K-9 Kilo
  • Washington Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Earl with K-9 Brucha
  • Washington Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Trottier with K-9 Odin
  • Ticonderoga Police Sergeant Dale Quesnel with K-9 Tusko