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Campus shooter scenario tests local agencies
shooter  pic1
A scenario of two gunmen shooting students tested the response of law enforcement, emergency personnel and school officials Monday. The gunmen, played by law enforcement, charged onto the campus and shot several students, played by actors from YES Company. Stanislaus County Sheriffs Deputies responded to the scenario and went to work clearing each school room. - photo by SABRA STAFFORD / The Journal

The very scary scenario of a gunman terrorizing a school campus played out in safe surroundings Monday in a joint exercise between the Stanislaus County Office of Education and local law enforcement and emergency personnel.

The exercise brought together education officials and personnel from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and American Medical Response and tested the multi-agency procedures and protocols that would be used in a major incident and evaluated how those strategies worked in the scenario.

The exercise saw the agencies dealing with two active shooters on the Peterson Alternative Education Center campus in Modesto. Youth from YES Company and police explorers played the roles of victims and students in the scenario.

The exercise comes in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, Conn., but had been in the planning since August of last year. The exercise was paid for by a Secure Our Schools grant received from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services with the U.S. Department of Justice. 

“Utilizing resources like these are a key part of the ongoing school safety planning, training and evaluation support that is offered to schools through the Stanislaus County Office of Education,” said Superintendent Tom Changnon.

The entire exercise was videoed and will be used for additional training and will be shared with school districts and law enforcement statewide, said SCOE spokesperson Judy Leitz.