In the wake of recent school shootings, Humboldt County, California police and educators are teaming up to implement training strategies.

In the wake of recent school shootings which have garnered headlines nationwide, Humboldt County, Calif. law enforcement officials and educators are teaming up to implement strategies in the event of such a scenario.

Eureka City Schools have started implementing random lockdowns, according to Superintendent Fred Van Vleck. The director of student services will head to a local school, invent a scenario and announce it when he or she goes into the principal’s office. After that, a campus lockdown is in effect.

”That’s all about sharpening and honing our staff and students’ skills on how to properly lock down a campus,” Van Vleck said.

”Go back 10 years ago, a lockdown was just that — a lockdown,” Van Vleck said. “Now it’s modified to sometimes for instance, if we have a lockdown when students are off campus, those students don’t come back to the campus. They get away from the situation if at all possible.”

School officials in Humboldt County use school shootings as a way to improve school safety.

“Every time we have an incident that happens within the country, the county or the school, it gives Eureka a learning opportunity to help improve school safety,” Van Vleck said. “We’re always learning. We’re always going to get better. The more we practice, the more we learn from situations that have happened around the country.”

Schools work with law enforcement agencies such as the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol in preparing for a school shooting.

”They make a big difference because the officers learn to communicate with each other, they learn to work with the staff of the schools, … they learn protocols,” Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Knight said.

Officers receive training in room clearing techniques, team formations, roles and tactics, the role of a first responder and a history of active shooter incidents, according to CHP Officer Matt Harvey.

”It’s the type of training and the type of awareness that we don’t see as going away any time in the foreseeable future,” Harvey said. “It’s a new part of the realities of the communities and the jobs that we take on in law enforcement. This is something that’s developed in recent years that’s another part of the job that we have to accept.”

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