By DEUCE NIVEN
“People don’t realize what we do, but we are getting prepared.”
Sgt. John Lewis, a veteran North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper stationed in Columbus County, living in Tabor City, is on the leading edge of an effort to make sure law enforcement is prepared for the nightmare scenario, an active shooter threatening and killing innocents.
It’s a reality in America today, with single words, individual places, evoking horror.
Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, to name just a few.
Lewis is the lead firearms instructor for the NCHP’s Troop B, an 11-county district that stretches from Robeson, Columbus and Brunswick counties along South Carolina border to Onslow and Harnett spanning its northern border.
Being prepared to use deadly force is part of all law enforcement training, and the reason officers at all agencies are required to spend time on the shooting range.
Most officers, Lewis said, never fire their weapons beyond that training. But they have to be ready. Taking that training to a higher level, something about 100 Troopers did last week on training grounds near Laurinburg-Maxton Airport, proved to be a stroke of timing and curiosity.
“One of our Troopers was out, and noticed the sign at Gryphon Group,” Lewis said. “He wanted to see what that was all about, so he stopped.”
For more on this story see the Nov. 13 Tabor-Loris Tribune print edition.