12/12/2012 10:47:00 AM Thankfully, this school lockdown wasn't real life scenario
Chino Valley Police Officer Eric Hatchell leads students to a staging area during the Wednesday, Dec. 5, lockdown drill at Chino Valley High School. The drill not only gave emergency personnel a chance to drill, but instructed students and faculty in procedures in case of a real emergency. Review/Matt Santos
In a two-hour period this past week, Chino Valley police responded to reports of an armed gunman on the high school campus and, while clearing the school, located a suspicious package that may or may not have been an explosive device.
Fortunately for the students at Chino Valley High School, the scenario was part of a well-planned and successfully executed training drill by the Chino Valley Police Department and the Chino Valley Fire District.
On Wednesday, Dec. 5, several members of the police and fire departments set up a command post near the Cougar baseball field and ran through several disaster scenarios to train not just themselves, but help students and faculty know what to do in the event of an on-campus incident.
"They did a superb job, the officers, the firefighters, and most of all, our students and faculty," said CVHS principal Wes Brownfield. "No principal wants to see that, even as a practice, but I have a high degree of confidence that (first responders) can handle any emergency that may happen here. I feel safe and protected by a very well-trained and responsive force."
The drill came just one week after a real call came through reporting an armed man on campus at the high school that turned out to be a non- threatening situation.
"This exercise went very well," said Sgt. Vince Schaan of the CVPD. "We found a few things we can improve on but that's why we do these type of drills. To show us how we can do things better, increase our response, and just get better at what we're doing."
Schaan said other schools in the area have contacted the Chino Valley Police Department with an interest in scheduling similar drills on their campuses.