Valley Police Train for Shootings

By: Deon Guillory Email
By: Deon Guillory Email

Preparing for shootings, like the one in Connecticut, is a collaborative effort between the city and the county. Police say that if something like this were to happen in the valley, officers will be ready.

Tragedy at an elementary school. It brings up the question, are schools safe?

"Statistically, school still remains the safest place for young people." said Harrisonburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Kizner.

Kizner says no one should say it could never happen here.
That's why police say they are always ready, even Friday.

"We brought in extra officers, had them stationed at some of the schools just to give a sense of peacefulness." said Lt. Kurt Boshart with the Harrisonburg Police Department.

Boshart says the department has been training for situations like this for the past 10 years. That training continues today.

"We do active shooter drills and training scenarios with our officers." said Boshart

Training is also done with others in law enforcement, including the Rockingham County Sheriff's Department.

"What is the best way for us to deal with that and how would we coordinate our efforts in doing so." said Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson

Officers learn about the first priority in a situation like a school shooting.

"Getting in and trying to find where that person is and get to him as soon as you can and stop the violence." said Boshart

Dr. Kisner says there's something we can all do to help stop it before it starts.

"If you hear something, don't dismiss it. Bring it to the principal's attention, and if we feel it's warranted and in most cases, we will take the next step, notify the police to let them do an investigation." said Kisner

A lot of the training officers do is with current events. They expect the Connecticut school shooting to be a scenario in their next training session.


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