FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Franklin police conducted a training exercise at the Freedom Middle School.
The exercise was designed to allow the police department to evaluate its response with other emergency service agencies to a critical incident in an area where there may be a lot of people, according to Sgt. Charles J. Warner, the department's public information officer and community relations manager.
The scenario was a hostage situation at a middle school. Warner said it consisted of a father and his two children were "unhappy with a situation that was ongoing in the school.
"So they made a plan to go in and take the school over," he said.
Police have practiced with plastic figures and maps in the past, but this year the need seemed greater.
"This year, we're actually at the live scene school where unfortunately throughout the United States, these things are becoming more and more common." He said. "So this year, we chose to do this type of event this year to better prepare the department and their response with other agencies to a real-life event should one occur."
Police got the call of an armed gunman inside Freedom Middle School. The suspect reportedly takes hostages and dozens of officers and SWAT team members rush into the school.
It was as much a practice in disaster training as it was in logistics. Police called in backup units from a variety of agencies including Brentwood police as well as the Williamson County Sheriff's Office, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as well as the FBI.
A command center nearby coordinated the officers as the hostage situation inside continued.
Ultimately, there were a few mock victims and an injured suspect as well as plenty of traumatized hostages.
A scary situation, police said, they must prepare to make sure a real event wouldn't end tragically.
"This is a work in progress always. You could always be better at what you're doing," Warner said.
Police warned all residents and businesses within a mile of the school about the drill so no one would be alarmed.