SOUTH PASADENA (CNS) - In the aftermath of the Connecticut elementary school massacre, the police chief in South Pasadena today reaffirmed the preparation that city officials and the school district have undertaken should such an event occur in their small city.
"With the recently completed Joint Emergency Operations Plan (JEOP), plans and procedures are in place for such an event," said South Pasadena police chief Joseph Payne. "All campuses now have similar plans that are understood district-wide."
Contained in those plans, Payne said, are maps and building locations that are quickly accessible and understood to mitigate confusion that would exist at the outset.
He said school district officials understand that information dispatchers and first-responders will need immediately so that rescue efforts are not delayed.
"At the first hint of trouble, teachers know to institute lockdown and communications procedures and subsequent evacuations routes and locations as necessary," Payne said.
South Pasadena police officers recently participated in a large-scale mutual aid exercise with an active-shooter scenario and trained with school police departments on their respective campuses to enhance the reality of school grounds.
"With lessons learned from the Columbine School shooting, law enforcement knows that immediate interdiction efforts are critical," Payne said. "That is not to say that police will rush in without a plan in place. Our tactics and equipment are designed for immediate response and deployment."
"Although there are never any assurances that we can stop such an event before it starts," he said. "The training and preparations we have taken will help lessen the danger such events pose to our children."