Local Schools Train And Prepare For Incidents Like Newtown Shooting

By  | 

While local parents watched news reports from the school shooting in Connecticut and hugged their kids closer today, school officials here were quick to say our schools are safe and they're working to make them even safer.

In March of 2006, a 14 year old boy brought a gun to Pine Middle School and started shooting. Two students were injured before the incident was ended by the quick and heroic action of a teacher who talked the boy into dropping the weapon.

Police arriving had detailed information about the layout of the school Parents got accurate information through a mass notification program.

Those were just some of the things put in place in the wake of school shootings elsewhere.

Ten years ago school district police were trained in emergency procedures. Since then a lot has been done.

The school district now has an Emergency Command Center, ready for activation if needed.

Many of our older schools, built as open campuses have been modified to be more secure with security fencing and single point entry through secure doors.

"We've finished up some schools and we're reevaluating now and trying to make it as safe as we possibly can," says Washoe County School District Police Chief Michael Mieras.

Most of all there's training and it doesn't stop with first responders.

"We do the training and the way down to to teacher and we when do the assemblies and stuff like that in our schools, we talk with students and we get it to the students as well."

The drills can be frighteningly real. Lyon County authorities staged this one in Yerington in 2005, but local agencies have held similar drills here.

It's all geared to make everyone ready for a day all hope never comes. And in the wake of the tragedy in Connecticut, three thousand miles away in Reno there will be more evaluation.

"We step back and say what are we doing, what can we do better and again, we try to make it as safe as we possibly can."