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The Pocatello Police Department and other local organizations are being highlighted for a critical incident and reunification exercise held earlier this year.
Campus Safety recently published the article “Reunification Realities: 7 Lessons Learned from a School Active Shooter Exercise” detailing the initial planning of the exercise, what happened day of, and what other agencies can glean from Pocatello’s experience for their own reunification efforts. The exercise marked the first time a full-scale reunification drill had been held in Idaho.
“The reunification drill was a great opportunity for the community to work together, train together, and become better prepared,” said Officer Zachary Bartschi. “We were able to find out what works and what could be improved in case the need arises for a school reunification effort in the Bannock County area for whatever reason.”
In the article, Guy Bliesner, the article's author and School Security Analyst for the Idaho Office of School Safety and Security, said the Pocatello Police Department “has been highly proactive, consulting with schools to improve security and delivering active shooter training to their K-12 school administration and staff under the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) model.”
At the March exercise, the Pocatello Police Department, Chubbuck Police Department, and Idaho State Police responded for an active shooter exercise at Grace Lutheran High School. Victim-actors were taken to Portneuf Medical Center as the hospital completed a mass casualty exercise at the same time. Students were evacuated from Grace Lutheran High School and taken to Holt Arena on the Idaho State University campus. At Holt Arena, volunteers from Southeastern Idaho Public Health, Pocatello/Chubbuck School District #25, City of Pocatello, and others worked to see how they could keep students safe, accounted for, and ultimately reunited with their parents or guardians. In total, more than 500 people participated in the exercise.
“I appreciated all of the agencies coming together to make this exercise happen,” said Pocatello Police Chief Roger Schei. “Officer Bartschi and Corporal Matt Shutes put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes. I pray that tragedies like these never happen anywhere. However, training and preparation are the best things we can do to be able to respond.”
The story is available to read at bit.ly/2Kja4SN and will be printed in the magazine’s November/December issue.
Campus Safety magazine and CampusSafetyMagazine.com exclusively serve campus police chiefs, security directors, IT personnel, emergency managers and executive administrators involved in the public safety and security of major hospitals, schools and universities in the United States.
For more information on the Pocatello Police Department, visit pocatello.us/police.