Oskaloosa PD Tests Active Shooter Plans

Oskaloosa Police Officers conduct active shooter training at the Oskaloosa High School over the Thanksgiving break.

Oskaloosa Police Officers conduct active shooter training at the Oskaloosa High School over the Thanksgiving break. (photo courtesy Mahaska County Emergency Management)

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Oskaloosa Police Department, along with the Oskaloosa School District, with help from Mahaska, Wapello and ADLM Emergency Management, reviewed active shooter plans during the Thanksgiving break.

Oskaloosa Police Chief Jake McGee said, “it was an exercise just to test our plans that we have, should we have an active intruder at any of the schools.”

“The school district had probably well over 100 staff that were actually involved at certain points of the exercise,” explained McGee. “Our entire department was involved along with EMA.”

McGee explained that training for scenarios is important because you never know in a real-life situation when that’s going to take place, and we want to make sure that we’re ready for that should it take place.”

“Hopefully this [active shooter] will never happen, but if it does, we want to make sure that we are ready for it and that our plans we have in place will work,” added McGee.

The training scenario took three hours, and the review of the training exercise will be ongoing and they will learn from what happened during the training, and find areas they can improve on.

The Oskaloosa PD will also be part of a bigger meeting with Mahaska County Emergency Management and the Oskaloosa School District to further evaluate the training.

Reevaluating what works in an active shooter situation has lead to changes in how those situations are handled.

“Several years ago, the whole idea was to barricade and hide,” said McGee. Things have now moved towards a “run, hide or fight” mentality to dealing with an active shooter situation.

“Basically, it gave us a good opportunity to see how we would respond, but it also gave the school an opportunity to see how their staff would respond. And because they have several options, like the run, hide, fight program now, it gave them an opportunity to look at their staff to see how they responded,” added McGee.

“There were no students involved at all,” said McGee. “This was an in-service teacher day.”

For many participants, the sounds of gunshots echoing through a school made the training even more real.

“Overall, I thought it went well,” added McGee. “I thought the staff did a very good job. They knew what they were going to do and they did a very good job with it.”

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Posted by on Dec 1 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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