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Active shooter drill tests readiness
Members of McMinnville Police Departments critical response team entering a maintenance shed on the National Guard Armory property Friday morning are, from left, Justin Cobble, Sgt. Ben Cantrell, Eddie Colwell and Bobby Anderson.

Be thankful it was only a drill.
McMinnville police officers responded to an active shooter at the National Guard Armory on Friday morning, casing the building until the suspect was eventually apprehended.
The drill was at the request of Tennessee National Guard Major Gen. Max Haston, who wants to help soldiers be better prepared for such a situation. There were four Marines and one Navy sailor killed last summer in Chattanooga at a Navy Reserve center.
McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton described the drill.
“A disgruntled member of the National Guard who had just been dismissed from his job went into the armory, shot a person on duty, and barricaded himself inside,” said Denton. “He still had a weapon. Our critical response team went in and made a tactical assessment of the situation and was able to disarm the suspect.”
Law enforcement officers conduct such drills to prepare for an actual emergency. Officials were paged over the police scanner and the response included firefighters, ambulance personnel, and members of the city’s Public Works Department in case road closures were required.
“We learn something every time we have one of these drills,” said Denton. “Afterwards, we have a meeting and try to be as candid as we can about the response and how we can improve it. There are always a few glitches and we determine ways to address those.”
The last time local law enforcement officials conducted such a drill was at River Park Hospital. Denton says plans are to hold at least one drill a year.