South Pasadenaâ€™s police chief said city officials and the school district are prepared should an event occur in their city similar to the Connecticut elementary school massacre.
“With the recently completed Joint Emergency Operations Plan (JEOP),Â plans and procedures are in place for such an event,” said South PasadenaÂ police chief Joseph Payne. “All campuses now have similar plans that areÂ understood district-wide.”
Contained in those plans, Payne said, are maps and building locationsÂ that are quickly accessible and understood to mitigate confusion that wouldÂ exist at the outset.
He said school district officials understand that informationÂ dispatchers and first-responders will need immediately so that rescue effortsÂ are not delayed.
“At the first hint of trouble, teachers know to institute lockdown andÂ communications procedures and subsequent evacuations routes and locations asÂ necessary,” Payne said.
South Pasadena police officers recently participated in a large-scaleÂ mutual aid exercise with an active-shooter scenario and trained with schoolÂ police departments on their respective campuses to enhance the reality ofÂ school grounds.
“With lessons learned from the Columbine School shooting, lawÂ enforcement knows that immediate interdiction efforts are critical,” PayneÂ said. “That is not to say that police will rush in without a plan in place.Our tactics and equipment are designed for immediate response and deployment.”
“Although there are never any assurances that we can stop such an eventÂ before it starts,” he said. “The training and preparations we have takenÂ will help lessen the danger such events pose to our children.”