Law enforcement “Explorers” experience active shooter scene, mock press conference

Explorers during active shooter scenario. All “guns” are rubber. Photos by Karamie Sullivan and Walker Campbell.

The South Carolina Association of Law Enforcement Explorers (SCALE) conference is underway in Lexington County for 14 explorer posts of South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Explorers program is for young adults who are 14-to-20-years-old, interested in a potential law enforcement career. Each explorer group competes in various real-life scenarios throughout the week while being judged by experts in the field.

The explorers underwent a new “active shooter” scenario this year at Rosenwald Community Learning Center in Lexington, followed by an immediate mock press conference. Cola Daily was asked to be one of the media representatives to observe the scenario, then question the explorers speaking at the press conference.

Around 9:20 a.m., four explorers from the Chapin post entered the scenario in the school, where media was allowed to observe from a corner. An actor entered the hallway with a rifle, firing off approximately four blank shots. Then the explorers entered the hall, searching for the “gunman” and encountering three dead or injured “dummies” that had been placed in different spots across the floor. They had to secure the scene, search and detain the gunman, and check on the casualties. Immediately following, two of the explorers were moved to the back of the school for the mock press conference.

Chapin explorers Chip Dye and Spencer Johnson during mock press conference.

They were asked questions about the incident for approximately 20 minutes. Questions including “what happened to the shooter,” “how many people were hit,” “where do the parents go to pick up their kids,” were asked by reporters and scenario judges Capt. Adam Myrick and Colby Gallagher.

Chapin explorers Chip Dye and Spencer Johnson spoke to Cola Daily after the scenario was finished.

“We’re all taking this week as an opportunity to learn,” Dye said. “This is a good way to see how prepared you are and how you’ll handle situations.”

This is Dye and Johnson’s second year competing at the summer SCALE conference, and they both are interested in becoming law enforcement officers. The boys said the active shooter scenario, along with the other events, give them a feel for how it would really be in that occupation. “This weekend we’re not given any help from our advisor, it’s kinda like real life, you’re on your own kind of,” said Dye.

Categories: Chapin, Lexington, Lexington County