Citywide Lock Down: Guilford County Emergency Management Weighs In

10:34 PM, Apr 19, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC - Watertown, Massachusetts was on lock-down for more than 12 hours as police combed the area, looking for Dzhokar Tsarnaev.

READ: Second Suspect in Boston Marathon Bombings Captured

There was a no fly zone over the town, people were ordered to stay inside their homes, businesses were closed, people weren't allowed to drive in or out of town and all public transportation was shut down.

It was a huge task to organize all that, especially in an area like Boston. But almost 700 miles away in Greensboro, North Carolina, authorities have a plan to lock-down just like Boston, if necessary.

"We have a lot of plans in place, we've got a lot of processes that identifies which agencies would be key in making those decisions as to what part of the city we would need to go into lock-down, or what parts of the county we would need to go into lock-down, we have the ability to do evacuations, or limited evacuations, in the county." Explained Don Campbell, Coordinator, Guilford County Emergency Management Division.

Campbell says an exact plan wouldn't be set until there was an emergency situation but says one of the first steps would be notifying the public about what's going on.

"We would also use the emergency alert system, social media, websites, news, radio, TV, anything that we could to get the message out from there," explained Campbell. "And then manpower wise, we would bring in our law enforcement agencies, in the county, and probably within the region if we had to do something at that extent."


Campbell says Guilford County EMS works with 120 local agencies to prepare for major emergencies. That includes everyone from police and fire to the Red Cross and Department of Social Services. They train for anything from weather emergencies to events similar to what happened in Boston.

"That's why we plan and train on a regular basis, we have all of our agencies coming together for exercises about "what-ifs" and how would we manage through an active shooter incident, or a lock-down procedure in certain areas, and it's through those processes that we continue to make our plans that much better," said Campbell. 

It wasn't just Boston police working this manhunt. Agencies from all over New England joined in the search. Campbell says that's what would happen here, too.

Guilford County authorities train with police from Charlotte and surrounding areas.

Just this week, Guilford County had to put in place their evacuation and alert training when a suspicious package was found in downtown Greensboro.

READ: Greensboro Police Detonate Suspicious Package

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