Blue Earth County authorities highlight preparation for active shooter situations
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - In light of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, local authorities highlighted the area’s preparation in case of an active shooter in the community.
“Together we started to train all of our first responders to have a collaborative understanding of what each discipline and each entity was able to provide. How we were going to respond as a group, and we also worked with the schools, so they understood how we were going to respond, what our tactics were, and what our priorities were when we got called on events like this. So if it ever happened it wasn’t the first time we worked on something like this,” Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Captain Paul Barta said.
In spring 2012, Mankato area authorities launched the Active Violence/Active Shooter program.
It started as the need to prepare for these types of situations seemed to grow.
“If something happens, and someone is able to get into that setting. It is the teachers that are going to guide that segment of the student population on how they are going to respond and approach this. So we want to make sure that we are offering the teachers education and training on what those options are” Barta added.
The program’s goal is to guard, coordinate the response, and provide educational resources.
It all started with a Blue Earth County initiative, which ended up expanding to surrounding counties.
It also provides a curriculum for businesses and places where large groups of people gather.
Mankato Area Public Schools and other districts around the area are currently working on providing support to students and staff members who might have been impacted by Tuesday’s tragic news.
“We have engaged in some conversations with students in a small group setting, asking questions about why and specific things around the feeling they were having and try to provide as much comfort and care in that moment as possible,” explained Rachel McNamara, social worker at Mankato Area Public Schools.
MAPS encourages parents and caregivers to reach out if they believe students would benefit from an individual check-in.
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