Maine police, schools have trained for shooter scenarios

Maine State Police Spokesman Stephen McCausland
Maine State Police Spokesman Stephen McCausland
Posted Dec. 14, 2012, at 7:39 p.m.

WATERVILLE, Maine — In light of Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut that claimed 28 lives, Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Stephen McCausland sought to reassure the public about the state’s preparedness for such an attack.

Maine law enforcement has trained for active shooter scenarios and learn from shooting incidents across the country, McCausland said Friday.

“The 60 new police officers that graduated this morning from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy all had that training in the last couple of weeks,” said McCausland. “Every police department maintains coordination with their local schools. Police share the information nationally with each other in the aftermath of these horrible tragedies. We learn from that and sometimes we make revisions to the policies that we have in place. That is likely to take place in this case [after Friday’s shooting].”

He added that Maine schools have increased security in recent years.

“School departments have also been extremely proactive,” said McCausland. “With most schools now, you have to check in at the front desk. Most schools have lockdown scenarios. Their staff is trained in this fashion. There’s a great deal that has been learned in the last decade in the aftermath of the tragedies around the country. Maine school systems have learned from that, and Maine law enforcement has, as well. We review these cases. In law enforcement’s case, we practice for what, hopefully, will never happen.”

McCausland added his personal view of the shooting in Connecticut.

“It is just a horrible tragedy, and our hearts go out to everyone affected down there,” said McCausland after fielding questions about the one-year anniversary of the Ayla Reynolds disappearance. “Just 10 days before Christmas, it’s unbelievable we’re actually talking about something like this.”

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