APS staff trained to handle incidents (UPDATED)
Posted at: 12/14/2012 5:37 PM
| Updated at: 12/15/2012 11:42 AM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
What is known as "active shooter training" is conducted with Albuquerque Public School teachers and staff on a regular basis on what to do in the event of a mass shooting.
"It's scary because I have kids too and I wouldn't want that to happen to them," one parent said, as she picked up her kids Friday afternoon.
"Those children, in a sense, were like my children too," another man said.
Parents expressed the heartbreak of many, after learning 26 people were dead, including 20 children, after a gunman opened fire inside an elementary school in Connecticut.
"Unfortunately in today's world we have to practice lockdown drills more than we have to practice fire drills," James Vautier of the Albuquerque Police Department said.
There are 31 school resource officers with the Albuquerque Police Department that conduct training with all 142 schools on a regular basis.
"The first response if you have an avenue to escape is to absolutely run for your life," Vautier said.
But it is important for teachers and students to be aware of any signs before it gets to that point.
"Stopping the threat before the threat becomes active is the key, and that involves communication with your counselors and your teachers," Vautier said.
That may be what stopped a potential mass shooting at Tony Hillerman Middle School. Back in September, another student came forward with information about the shooting plot, verified by administrators as a credible threat.
"People who have information and share it are able to protect us all," APS Spokeswoman Monica Armenta said. "To the best of our ability we feel we're trained, though I can't imagine anyone saying they're ever prepared for something like what happened today."
APS officials are reminding parents too, while it is important to have these conversations with children about what to do in these types of situations, keep in mind not frighten kids to the point they are afraid to go to school.
There has never been a shooting at any of Albuquerque's schools.