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Stockton School Trains Students With Active Shooter Exercises

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

Police officers participate in an active shooter simulation at Bear Creek High School in Stockton Nov. 15, 2017.

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

Recent mass shootings set the stage for a police exercise in the event of a school shooting in Stockton Wednesday.

On Tuesday a gunman went on a shooting rampage at an elementary school in Tehama County. Stockton's police exercise was planned well ahead of that incident.

Tactics have changed and so too the tools needed to stop a gunman on campus.

The excercise at Bear Creek High School Wednesday had 33 agencies participate, including law enforcement, fire, and ambulance along with 100 volunteer actors to simulate the wounded and dead. In the simulation, all are responding to an active shooter.

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said in most cases officers can be on scene within five minutes. 

“Especially involving an active shooter, every second counts," Jones said. "The quicker we can deploy and the quicker a team can assemble of about four or so officers and a supervisor and then move into and toward the gunshots the better.” 

Jones said officers no longer wait for tactical teams. 

For the Stockton Police Department something new is also added: aerial drones. 

The department recently acquired five drones, all equipped with remote cameras, and some having heat sensing capabilities.

“Our goal would be by the time officers are still setting up their perimeter and really making plans on how they’re going to make entry into the school and clear it, we’ll already be able to be up and start giving them that information right away,” Officer Rich Ridenour said. 

The exercise saw two gunmen with automatic weapons and 50 people killed or wounded.

For freshman student Anysa Sevilla, it brings to mind real concerns.

"It happened before, somebody brought a gun to Bear Creek before, I do worry about it sometimes," she said.

Thirty years ago, Stockton became one of the first cities to see a mass shooting at an elementary school.

All here hope it never happens again, but all are preparing for what has become a reality in our time.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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