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Lakewood Station trains for school safety and "active shooter" scenarios

Lakewood Station trains for school safety and "active shooter" scenarios

Lakewood is considered a very safe community, but because of the unfortunately all-too-familiar news of active-shooter incidents at schools and other public places around the nation, Lakewood Station personnel regularly train now for how to expertly deal with such scenarios should they ever occur in or near our community.

Lakewood Station personnel regularly carry out the following:

• Trainings and briefings with school security teams and, in some cases, the entire staff of a school on how to deal with an “active shooter” scenario.

• Holding “active shooter” response live trainings and simulations at schools and various commercial locations in Lakewood.

As part of one of the nation’s largest and most experienced law enforcement agencies, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel working out of the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station have access to unique resources and staffing that enable them to apply state-of-the-art knowledge to prepare for and respond to specialized emergencies.

“We all hope we never have to put that training to use in Lakewood,” says Lakewood Station Captain Rick Harpham, “but I want our community to know that we do everything we can to be prepared to keep them safe no matter what happens.”

“I also want parents to know,” said Harpham, “that if an emergency of any kind happens at a school…be it an earthquake or human-made disaster…please follow your school’s emergency response plan.

“School staff will actively share information with parents through the school messaging system, so it is important to keep your contact information current with the school,” said Harpham. “Schools may also post information on school and district websites and share alerts via school apps.

“Resist the urge to descend on the school during an emergency,” said Harpham. “When thousands of parents do that, it creates its own crisis, which gets in the way of school personnel and first responders focusing on the safety of the students and resolving the situation at hand.”