BISD, law enforcement, first responders ‘learned a lot’ from active shooter drill at Coggin Elementary


Tuesday morning, multiple agencies, including the Brownwood Police and Fire Departments, Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Early Police, Lifeguard EMS, and BISD personnel, will be conducting (Operation Safe Lion) a full-scale active shooter exercise at the Coggin Elementary Campus followed by a student/parent reunification at Brownwood High School.

The scenario for the drill was a woman who breached Coggin Elementary School,” Brownwood High School Resource Officer Fred Bastardo. “She engaged one of the guardians and there was a gunfight in the hallway. That led to a series of other scenarios with the main one.”

The drill included 30 student volunteers and 8-10 Coggin staff members, along with BISD employees as well as those from local law enforcement and emergency services.

Overall, we learned a lot,” Bastardo said. “There were some things that went really well and some things that need to be better. The main thing is everyone is willing to learn and to improve on what we’re doing, both on the school district side and the law enforcement and first responders side.”

During the scenario, the school was placed on lockdown and law enforcement arrived on the scene. Once the suspect was no longer a threat, the school was searched and the wounded were evacuated and transported to Hendrick Medical Center-Brownwood, while the rest of the students were eventually transported to the high school. The process ended with parents and students reuniting in the old gym, after the parents went through a screening process in the Warren Gym foyer.

Everyone’s been willing to participate,” BISD Director of Student Services Ginger Alford said of the volunteer turnout. “This is something everyone wants to know about so they’re prepared and understand what all is involved. We’ve been working on this year, having trainings, and today we put in action to see what we need to work on. This is drill is extremely important so we have an understanding of what the process is.”

Coggin Elementary was selected for the drill, according to Bastardo, because BISD had not conducted a drill of this nature on an elementary campus, and it is the largest elementary within Brownwood ISD.

We’ve been working on this year, having trainings,” Alford said. “Today we put in action to see what we need to work on.”

Bastardo added, “It’s been several years since we’ve done one, but since Uvalde we needed to make sure that we started doing them again. We want to make sure we’re doing this at least yearly.”