Twin Falls Police, school district talk about security changes since Columbine

Published: Apr. 25, 2019 at 6:53 PM MDT
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It's been 20 years since the Columbine High School massacre, and putting you and your kids safety first, we wanted to see how procedures have changed when it comes to school safety and how police response times have changed since then.

KMVT sat down with Twin Falls Police Capt. Matthew Hicks, who explained what’s changed.

"Our tactics and our approach to those events have completely changed in the last 20 years,” Hicks stated.

Before the events at Columbine High School in 1999, the procedure when responding to an active shooter situation was to surround the area, wait for additional resources and try to evacuate people.

"We simply don't have time to do that anymore. Our officers are trained in very, very small groups, even down to a single officer, to enter those locations, and to try to deal with that threat as soon as possible. And the philosophy is to stop the killing first, and then to stop the dying,” Hicks stated.

Law enforcement prepares for the worst, as does the Twin Falls School District, Ryan Bowman, the director of operations for the district explained.

"Every school does active shooter drills, so that we make sure that we know what we need to do, in a situation, if there was an emergency such as an active shooter situation, or an evacuation for that matter,” Bowman said.

The Twin Falls police also work closely with the school district.

"We have six SROs that serve within our schools, and are in constant contact with them. There’s also a sergeant with the police department who oversees the SROs and works closely with myself,” Bowman stated.

It all comes down to protecting those that matter most.

"We always look at the after action reports and investigations from those instances, and we try to figure out what lessons can be learned, and we're dedicated to making sure that we stay on top of the latest tactics and practices, and passing that on to our community,” Hicks said.

We want to hear from you. In the 20 years since Columbine, do you think school safety and police response times have improved? Why or why not?

Posted by KMVT News on Wednesday, April 24, 2019