Skip to Main Content


Active Shooter! Mock Drill at Coastal Pines Tech Teaches Valuable Lessons

September 19, 2015 02:40 PM

Article and photo by Myra Thrift, WJH Staff Writer

What would you do?

You are at work teaching tech students in their chosen courses when without warning ... a well-dressed man enters the front office, shoots and kills the receptionist, then makes his way down corridors, confronting and firing at everyone he passes in the hallways.

picture of police swat members on the waycross campus at CPTC during the Active Shooter drillIn immediate response, officers with the local police department arrive, having been alerted. Carrying protective gear and zoning in with their weapons, the trained officers are able to take down the intruder, carrying him out of the building to make sure everyone remaining in the building is safe. Capt. Tommy Cox (photo on the right) leads a group of Waycross Police Department SWAT Team members down a corridor.

That was the scene Friday morning at Coastal Pines Technical College, but—never fear—it was only a drill.

School officials know that in today’s uncertain world, such a scenario could easily be played out before their very eyes, putting the entire population in eminent danger.

College president Dr. Glenn Deibert and other officials went through the motions of a perceived threat, presented with solutions to the threat by school campus police officer James Mock and Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner, along with a team of trained officers who were there to teach officials the right way to respond.

After hearing the first shot, Mock instructed every teacher to “lock your door. Turn off your lights. Move to the back corner of the room.”

Mock said normally if an intruder finds a door locked and sees no lights on, he will move on to another location.

“What would you do if a real shot was fired? Someone is going to call 911 and the police will be coming. In the meantime, you get mean. Slap his hand away. Get creative. Use your body and fight for your life. Get in survival mode. It’s called survival. The surprise element is on your side.”

“Find yourself a weapon — a letter opener, a pair of scissors,” said Tanner.

Mock then added they cannot have mace on the campus but they can have a can of wasp or hornet spray, which will spray its product 20 feet.

The “active shooter drill” on the campus was acted out to help school officials to evaluate and improve key response processes.

Realizing that it’s important that plans are communicated, executed, evaluated and updated, as needed, Deibert said, “Putting a plan in action during a real-life situation is quite different from sitting around talking about it.”

Following the active shooter scenario, Mock led an after-action discussion with participants in which agencies evaluated their plans, processes and procedures in light of the day’s events. He noted that CPTC has other protocols and communication pieces in place that were not demonstrated during the drill, but ready to use, if needed.

Mock also explained that CPTC recently purchased a mass communication system and is in the process of getting it installed.

Mock, who coordinated the drill, thanked everyone involved, adding, “The exercise allowed the college and participating agencies to turn their paper plans into action.”

Dr. Deibert extended sincere appreciation to all of the participating agencies.

No one was injured during the exercise. Following the drill at the college, a lunch was provided for all of the participants and a debriefing was held to analyze the response.


← Back


Telephone numbers are accessible to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing through the Georgia Relay by dialing 711 or 1-800-255-0056 from a TTY/TDD.

Los números de teléfono son accesibles a las personas que son sordos o con pérdida de la audición a través de Georgia Relay marcando 711 o 1-800-255-0056 de TTY/TDD.


Waycross Camden Baxley
1701 Carswell Ave 100 Keith Dixon Way 1334 Golden Isles Pkwy, W
Waycross, Georgia 31503 Kingsland, GA 31548 Baxley, Georgia 31513
912.287.6584 912.522.4510 912.367.1700
  Camden Golden Isles
Alma Cosmetology Program 3700 Glynco Pkwy
101 West 17th St 8001 The Lakes Blvd Brunswick, Georgia 31525
Alma, Georgia 31510 Kingsland, Georgia 31548 912.262.4999
912.632.0951 912.510.3364  
  Hazlehurst 1777 West Cherry St
  677 Douglas Hwy Jesup, Georgia 31545
  Hazlehurst, Georgia 31539 912.427.5800


Human Trafficking Hotline

Website design and development by, Inc.

Copyright © Coastal Pines Technical College. All rights reserved.

close (X)