Clarkston School District examines safety policies after Newtown tragedy

Clarkston School District examines safety policies after Newtown tragedy »Play Video
Keeping armed guards or officers at schools has become a hot topic nationally, however in Clarkston that's a system that's already been in place.
CLARKSTON, WA - It's been almost two weeks since a shooting in Newtown, Connecticut took the lives of 28 children and adults.

Reporter Veronica Miracle tells us in the second segment of a two part series, how the Clarkston School District is responding to the terrible tragedy.

In 2001, Clarkston Police Department Commander Jim Smith helped create an emergency plan for the Clarkston School District that encompasses everything from a shooting scenario to an earthquake. A plan that he says is up to date and is practiced by students, staff members and police and fire.

"We do a lot of active shooter training in the police department," said Smith. "And the schools do training, every month. They train on the safety."

Keeping armed guards or officers at schools has become a hot topic nationally, however in Clarkston that's a system that's already been in place.

"We have a school resource officer that's in the schools so he's around," said Smith. "We have a DARE officer and he's in the schools quite a bit. So we actually have two armed officers roaming the schools quite a bit."

Smith said while he's confident about the current program the school district has set up, after the shooting in Connecticut, they're looking at other ways to amp up security.

"The system we have in place is very good," said Smith. "They're going to start looking at other issues with the school. Maybe locking more doors instead of having so many different accessioning places."

Like any public facility, Smith said to stay alert and conscious of your environment.

"Just tell your kids to be aware of your surroundings," said Smith. "A vehicle that doesn't look right or someone's around the school that doesn't look right."

The shootings in Connecticut have raised concerns across the country regarding gun control. Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association, said in a press conference last week that gun control is not the answer and that there should be an armed police officer at every school. President Barack Obama has formed a task force, designed specifically to provide recommendations on how to reduce gun violence.