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Safety Preparedness in Schools

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Fortunately, the shooter never got inside the building during Monday's shooting at Sparks Middle school. For that, school police give credit to training and safety procedures.

Monday's shooting at Sparks Middle School is something no one could have predicted. But it is something that our schools prepare for.

Part of that is building relationships with students and having staff members outside before classes start.

"Those teachers stepped up and did exactly what they were trained to do and took the proper steps along those lines of emergency management," says Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras.

School police say they're reviewing everything that happened during the shooting to learn from it.

"We will sit down with the staff at the school and will take that global look and we'll start narrowing it down and we'll start looking at any ways we can improve school safety. That's our number one goal."

About a third of Washoe County's 93 schools use the single point of entry system including Sparks Middle School.

You can only get into the building through one entrance and visitors have to show ID at the front office before they can get buzzed in.

And it serves a lot of purposes.

"There's custody issues, we've had individuals that come in and wander into our school grounds, go to classrooms. We had parents go to classrooms and try to open doors or disrupt a class while it's in session."

Other schools, like Reed High have recently added fencing around the property.

The school district police department has 38 officers. They work closely with school staff across Washoe County to prepare for possible incidents.

"If they do have to come into one of our schools for an emergency, they have a very good idea of what our staff is going to be doing in our schools."

And while there is always the possibility of a tragic situation like we saw earlier this week, Mieras says our schools are getting safer, everyday.

"When I kiss my daughter good-bye in the morning to send her into school, I know and I feel in my heart that my child is safe."

Chief Mieras says the school district doesn't have any plans to install metal detectors. He says they've been used in other places and haven't stopped incidents like these from happening.

Written by Paul Nelson

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