Welsh police officers hold active shooter training excercise

WELSH — Welsh police officers took part in an active shooter training exercise Tuesday ahead of the start of the new school year.

Nearly two dozen officers participated in the training at Welsh high and elementary schools.

“We want to ensure the parents that they can be at ease because our officers are here and they are trained if something would happen,” Police Chief Marcus Crochet said.

The training helped officers to be better prepared and to respond quickly to an incident, he said.

During the training, members of Lake Charles police’s SWAT team instructed the officers to respond to the actual threat, tactics to use including proper movement and formation and how to clear a room.

“The main thing to remember is to get there as fast as you can and as loud as you can,” instructor Kevin O’Rourke of the SWAT team said. “Go there loud and fast. We want them to know we are coming.”

O’Rourke also instructed the officers to think outside the box for using weapons other than guns to enter a building. He said small crow bars, battle axes and other tools can be used as alternatives.

“You have to do your work and you have to get in the building,” he said, noting that stopping a shooter means acting quickly and not waiting for other help to arrive.

The training is a sign of the times, said Welsh officer Shawn Donahoe.

“It’s necessary for us because at any given time of the year something could happen, as we have already seen all over the country,” he said. “With a small town we will be one of the first here and we need to know the basic movements and training to go a lot faster.”

Officer Aaron Ardoin said the training enabled officers to become familiar with the school.

“Something as simple as knowing the layout can make all the difference,” Ardoin said.

School crossing guard Jerry Doucet said the training eased a lot of his concerns.

“As a school crossing guard, I am going to be one of the first to hear the shooting and screaming,” Doucet said. “I need to know what to do.”

Jeff Davis Parish School Board Child Welfare and Attendance and Transportation Supervisor Ben Oustalet said local schools are trained to be proactive in handling crisis situations and other emergencies.

“We are in a time when we have to have due diligence and make plans,” he said. “It’s a small percentage of a chance that we will have an active shooter situation happen here, but we want to make sure we are prepared and working within our crisis plans.”

He said the School Board has taken an active approach in trying to emphasize school safety and focusing on its crisis plans to ensure students and staff know what to do during emergencies.

Throughout the school year schools conduct drills for evacuations, lock downs and shelter-in-place, fires and weather-related emergencies, he said.

‘It’s a small … chance that we will have an active shooter situation happen here, but we want to make sure we are prepared and working within our crisis plans.’ 

Ben Oustalet

Jeff Davis Parish School Board


Welsh police officers Justin Olmsted and David Amrine participate in an active shooter training Tuesday at Welsh Elementary School. During the training, members of the Lake Charles police  SWAT team instructed the officers to respond to the actual threat, tactics to use and how to clear a room.

Doris MaricleJefferson Davis Parish Reporter


Beauregard Health System breaks ground for new expanded emergency department


LC Memorial Health preparing for hurricane season


Mental Health Awareness: Why it’s OK to ask for help when you’re not OK

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Landry scores major victory

McNeese Sports

Citizen enters Cowboy corral

Local News

Two new housing developments will cater to seniors nearing or in retirement

Local News

CPSB to host job fair in June

Local News

The late Rev. Billy Graham immortalized in statue unveiled at US Capitol

Local News

One more bout of rain tonight, Saturday morning for SW La.

Local News

City Council meeting packed over effort to put tow yard in residential area

McNeese Sports

Cowboys getting weight room upgrade

Business News

Another lawsuit filed challenging Biden’s LNG ‘pause’

Local News

Meteorologist: Another round of heavy rainfall this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow morning

Local News

Anita Falcon’s relationship with her students often reaches beyond the classroom


Local attempted murder case dropped because case wasn’t brought to trial in timely manner

Local News

Severe storms kill at least 4 in Houston, cause widespread power outages

Local News

Jeff Davis releases names of parish administrator applicants

Local News

Kennedy introduces bill to help Louisiana farmers recover from crop loss

Local News

Louisiana National Guard send third rotation to Texas border

Local News

VIDEO: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Memorial Service

Local News

Speaker Johnson: Biden, Schumer must display moral courage, support Israel

Local News

Rate hikes for utilities approved in Sulphur


Circles on a Mission: Second-annual charity bike ride rolls this Saturday in DeRidder

Local News

WEATHER UPDATE: Another bout of severe weather awaits SW La.