Loudon Co. School Resource Officers get command boards

LOUDON COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- School Resource Officers keep kids, faculty and staff safe every day in Loudon County schools, and they're changing up how they do it with a new tool called a command board.

"It's a command center that I can set up immediately on scene. It's a command center - I don't have to wait on a truck to get there, I don't have to wait on assets to come from other places," said Corporal Billy Hall, with the Loudon County Sheriff's Office.

Inside is a red binder with response plans for all types of emergencies including fires, tornadoes and active shooters. The board also has evacuation routes and maps of the building -

"That way if we're bringing in somebody from out of county, like for instance if we bring in the Blount County Swat Team if we have - God forbid - an active shooter or something. We can say, he's in this part of the building, he was last seen in front of window number 6. They can look at a map and know exactly where window number 6 is," said Hall.

"It's a good thing because you know, sometimes you don't know what to do or how to do it. And it'll help people just be able to hit it and get out on time," said Courtney Perkins, whose brother attends elementary school in Loudon County.

The command boards go hand-in-hand with go-packs, which are in every Loudon County elementary and middle school classroom. The go-packs have first aid kits and the same emergency response binders.

"So when we do have to have an emergency response, both the teachers and the officers are on the same page," said Mike Garren, assistant director of Loudon County Schools.

"We can basically say, "Okay, we know that students are going to be evacuating off this side of the school because the teachers have the same evacuation plan as we have in this board," said Hall.

The command boards and go-packs also have colored pages, so teachers and emergency responders can communicate without talking.

A Homeland Security grant paid for the command boards. Donations paid for the go-packs, which are still needed in the county's two high schools. The additional go-packs will cost about $10,000 - if you can help, call the Loudon County Sheriff's Office at (865) 986-4823.