If ever faced with an active shooter, Belmont Police officers say they're training offers them clear direction on how to respond.
“Go in and immediately stop the threat,” is how every Belmont Police Department officer is trained to respond to an active shooter situation, Assistant Chief Boyce (Corky) Falls told Belmont Rotary Club members recently.
He knows that’s true because he does the training.
“Even if there’s only one solo officer on the scene, that person must go in and stop the threat,” he said. “We’re trained to put ourselves in harm’s way.”
All Gaston County law-enforcement agencies train officers the same way so they can coordinate response when departments support each other during an active shooter incident, he added.
Also assisting with the Rotary Club program was Sgt. Allen Buchanon, who serves as community coordinator for the department. A Belmont officer for 17 years, Buchanon also works with organizations planning major events in Belmont, such as festivals, concerts, walks and runs, parades and others.
Falls began his career in Belmont in 1996 and later worked in other departments in Gaston County before returning after Chad Hawkins became Belmont’s police chief. He served as a lieutenant and captain before being promoted to assistant chief.
The officers told Rotarians all areas of Gaston County are experiencing a huge increase in drug cases involving fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin. All officers now carry Narcan in their cars and administer it to fentanyl victims. “We’ve saved a lot of lives with Narcan,” Falls said.
“Almost everyone is touched by this drug in some way, either as a victim of crime, a relative or as an addict.”
More than $833,000 in drug money has been seized here, and that money is divided among agencies assisting in each seizure and used to buy law-enforcement equipment.
The Rotary meeting and program were at Primal Brewing because of a scheduling conflict at Home2 Suites, and the program was arranged by club member and 2022-23 President-elect Thomas Hunter of Stowe Insurance in Belmont.
Belmont Rotary Club, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2025, meets each Wednesday, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., at the Home2 Suites in Belmont for lunch and a program on local topics. Guests interested in learning more about how Rotary serves the community are welcome.
Ted Hall is a member of Belmont Rotary.
This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: Belmont Police say they immediately stop threat with active shooter