Lake Oswego Police exercises prepare first responders for 'active threats' in schools

Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Lake Oswego Police officer Ben Schneider searches a classroom for potential gunmen during active threat exercises at Lake Oswego High School last week. Clad in bulletproof vests and utility belts packed with equipment and weaponry, Lake Oswego police officers armed with AR-15 rifles and Glocks moved through Lake Oswego High hallways two by two last week. Ducking in and out of classrooms, they methodically sought and then subdued armed assailants.

Fortunately, it was all a drill. The victims and assailants were volunteers, and the bullets that officers fired were “simunition” — soap bullets tinted with red coloring. But the idea that an active threat could come to Lake Oswego schools?

That part was very real.Photo Credit: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Officers train for active threats in schools with AR-15 rifles altered to shoot soap bullets.

Other cities in Oregon — Springfield, Roseburg, Prineville, Bend — have all been victims of school shootings since 1998; just this past June, a murder-suicide at Reynolds High School rocked southwest Troutdale — a 30-minute drive from Lake Oswego. And last year, two bomb threats at Lake Oswego Junior High and one at Lake Oswego High had nerves on edge here, even after they appeared to be hoaxes.

In every case, those situations required a quick police response from officers trained to deal with a shooter, a combatant with a machete, a caller warning of explosive devices planted in school buildings.

Last week, Lake Oswego police officers made sure they are ready.

See “Protecting LO students” in the Education section.

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