Local schools, law enforcement discuss crisis procedures in wake of CT shooting

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(WEAU) -- It's the tragedy that is hitting hard around the nation. Eyes across the country are centered on Newtown, CT.

And even though it is 1,200 miles away, the effects are being felt here as well.

"Your heart goes out to the parents, the family, the school," said Dr. Connie Biedron, the Superintendent of the Altoona School District.

At the same time, it can raise questions about safety in our schools. In Altoona, every classroom is equipped with a crisis management plan. It includes things like instructions for teachers and color cards to indicate if all students are in the room.

"We practice evacuations, we practice lockdowns, we practice holds," she said.

Altoona had a lockdown two months ago, when an armed suspect was in the area. Dr. Biedron says that was a learning experience.

"Since then we've had several debriefings, meetings and revised our plan and updated it," Dr. Biedron added.

In Elk Mound, the district put its plan in place more than a decade ago.

"We update it at least once a year, and view it throughout the year, we practice elements of it," he said.

Dr. Walsh says it will get another look after what happened today in Connecticut.

"The sad thing is you can't be ready for every instance, you really try but it’s difficult to be ready for every little nuance, but we work very hard at that," he added.

Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer also helps prepare his team for crisis situations. He says there have been lessons learned since Columbine.

"The uniform officers have to go in, you can't wait for the tactical people, and I think that's the biggest lesson learned at Columbine," he added.

He says they visit schools in the area to get a layout of the buildings and practice for crisis situations. Whether it is school or law enforcement, there is a common goal in it all.

"We all feel scared for our kids, and grand kids, and our neighbors kids, and we want all of our kids to be safe and we're gonna work hard at that," Dr. Walsh said.