Sometimes we have to think the unthinkable

Sometimes we have to think the unthinkable »Play Video
Training and lockdown drills are components of response plan
LEWISTON, ID - The deadly school shooting in Oregon on Tuesday serves as a reminder that school shootings can happen anywhere, including here.

It's a scary thing to think about but it's what our local law enforcement train for.

“We have seen, across the Nation, shootings at little bitty schools and shootings at great big metropolitan schools,” said Lewiston Police Department’s Deputy Chief Roger Lanier. “We are not immune.”

Sometimes we have to think the unthinkable when it comes to violence within our community, as history has shown, it can happen anywhere.

"School shootings have been on our mind since the Columbine tragedy and since that time through the law enforcement community they're always evaluating and re-evaluating what are the latest tactical techniques for addressing mass shooting incidents," said Lewiston Police Department’s Deputy Chief Roger Lanier.

Growing incidents of school shootings is why both the Lewiston and Clarkston Police Departments train throughout the year.

"Not only in firearms but how to respond to active shooter incidents," said Clarkston Police Department’s Richard Muszynski.

"We incorporate it in our use of force training,” said Lanier. “We go to the schools and we train in the schools."

Statistically once the shooting starts a life is taken every 15 seconds. A shocking fact that has undoubtedly changed the way law enforcement operates around the country. Waiting for backup is no longer an option.

"The first priority in an active shooter case is to stop the immediate threat," said Muszynski.

“Over and over and over, time has proven to be the most valuable commodity,” said Lanier. “The quicker you can get to the scene and engage the suspect the more lives you can save."

A solid plan of action is in place for the Lewiston School District.

"The training and lockdown drills are components of that response plan," said Lanier.

The Clarkston Police also have a plan put in place for the District, however, how they would respond to each individual school does vary.

"Each school has a different layout so we would have maps of all the schools,” said Muszynski. “All the classrooms are numbers so the officers can easily identify which classrooms are where on school property."

The SWAT team, which is made up of officers from the Lewiston Police Department, Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clarkston Police Department would also respond in the case of an active shooter.