Crescenta Valley Station School Resource Officers Prepare for All School Incidents
By Deputy Wachter
In light of the tragedy at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas this last May, I have had the same questions asked over and over again. Parents and faculty inquire, “What would you do if an armed person came to our school?” They also ask, “What are your protocols?”
For school resource deputies such as myself and Deputy Shinagawa, the answer is simple and straightforward: We would go in and stop the threat. The responding deputies from Crescenta Valley station would also immediately respond, enter the school and stop the threat.
But to give you a little more information on what we are doing to plan for any emergency, here is a summary of what preparation the school district and the station did over the last few months.
This summer we began by going to every school and meeting with the principal and security personnel to update the school emergency plans. While at each school, we scheduled a site visit for the campus of station personnel. We scheduled multiple campus tours and invited the emergency services coordinator from the City of La Cañada Flintridge and all deputies on duty to attend.
On the days of the tours, school personnel guided deputies through the campus. The deputies had the chance to ask questions about the school’s emergency plans and the school got a chance to ask the deputies about our emergency plans. This ensured we are all on the same page for a variety of different emergency situations. We also took time to study the layout of the schools. This familiarization will help the field deputies respond quicker, and more effectively, to any scenario.
Through the collaboration of the various stakeholders from the school district and law enforcement, we agreed upon standardizing various items to improve our collective efforts to resolve the incident. As a result, no matter what school we respond to, we would have the same protocol at each location.
This type of communication between the City of La Cañada Flintridge, the school district, and the sheriff’s department will be continuous and will always be updating. We will always work together to promote the safety and security of the students and staff at our local schools.
For more information on what you can do should you find yourself in an active shooter event, please visit http://activeshooter.lasd.org.
Deputy Wachter is a six-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. She has served as the school resource deputy for the La Cañada Unified School District for one year. She has also attended a formal training specific to school resource deputies and active shooters.