Walla Walla Regional SWAT Team trains at elementary school
As students prepare to go back to school during the next couple weeks, educators and law enforcement leaders across our region are working hard to make sure those students stay safe.
Law enforcement leaders in Walla Walla say the more they train, the more prepared they are to handle a real emergency.
Today, the Walla Walla Regional SWAT Team, which is made up of police officers, sheriff's deputies and firefighters, held an active shooter training exercise at Berney Elementary School.
SWAT team members walked through the hallways, checking doors and going over how to handle a threat inside the school.
Law enforcement leaders say training at schools is extremely important because they get to know the layout of the schools, which will help them be more prepared during an emergency.
"We all know what the trends are in the country. We seem to have these kinds of incidents at schools quite a bit, and it's just our part in preparing for those kinds of call outs" said undersheriff Edward Freyer, Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office.
"Hopefully, you never have to roll out a plan like this where you have to bring a SWAT team out to a school campus and deal with an active shooter, we hope that day never comes. But you never know, so you always want to be prepared" said Mark Higgins, Walla Walla Public Schools.
Holding these types of training exercises also helps strengthen the relationships between the police department, sheriff's office and the school district - it also helps them understand their roles in case of an emergency.
The Walla Walla Regional SWAT Team holds training exercises once a month.