Contributed by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office:
Every community across the country has been impacted by the recent events at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Santa Cruz County is no different. In light of recent events there has been an increase in requests of the Sheriff’s Office regarding this topic.
Multiple schools in Santa Cruz County are working with the Sheriff’s Office to make the students, facility and parents feel safe while returning to school this week. Deputies are making an increased presence at the different schools throughout the county at different times during the day. Many parents were happy to see the Sheriff’s Vehicles in front of the schools on Monday.
Over the past decade, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has actively been training our personnel for dynamic shooting situations on school campuses. This primary responder training includes school lockdown procedures, active shooting situations, active scenarios, updated tactical training, identifying and communicating with mental health patients and debriefing incidents from all parts of the country.
The Community Services Division maintains ongoing contact with school officials regarding lock down procedures, lock-down training and maintains maps and keys of local schools to utilize in the event of such an incident. In conjunction with local schools and other local law enforcement agencies, the Sheriff’s Office has also coordinated countywide active shooting training and scenarios in order to better prepare for such a situation.
The Sheriff’s Office is constantly seeking updated training, tactics and technology regarding active shooter situations. The Sheriff’s Office maintains open lines of communication with our school officials both in deterring criminal events at our local schools as well training school teachers and staff how to react to these types of situations to better protect their students.