CALIFORNIA CITY – School safety is the watchword after some tragic occurrences on campus in recent times. The Mojave Unified School District has been reviewing its safety preparations at its schools in Mojave and California City.
The MUSD is getting some help from the California City Police Department. The CCPD is working with the district to develop procedures to meet emergency needs for different scenarios.
“We're going over all different types of safety issues at the schools in California City,” said Lt. Jimmy Rubio. "The one we're most concerned about is an active shooter situation. We're doing simulations of two different types of lockdown procedures to meet different levels of danger to students on campus.”
Police Chief Eric Hurtado said that the schools for years have practiced procedures for fire drills and other disasters. He hoped that the students also could do as well with these new types of emergencies with the repeated drills.
Rubio said the “Code Red” alert would be the highest level of concern. This would be if a gunman was on campus or in the immediate area, and a direct threat to student safety.
“Students and teachers would be in a lockdown in the classrooms, with lights off, on the floor and quiet,” Rubio said. “Parents will not be allowed to approach the school to pick up their children until the situation is cleared.”
A “Yellow Alert” would be for a situation within around 1,500 feet of a school campus. Students would be restricted to their classrooms or may be escorted to another part of the school. Parents are allowed to retrieve their children under a code yellow.
A “Code Green” would alert everyone that any situations were now cleared and everything was okay.
Rubio reported that live drills of the different procedures were taking place at the various schools in California City. He invited parents and the school board to observe these drills, and to see how hectic they can become.
However, he commended the students and teachers on their cooperation at some recent simulations.
“Everyone listened and the drills went well,” Rubio said. “We were impressed."
Hurtado also said the police department is working with the school district to install security cameras on the campuses, which can be monitored by the department with live feeds. He said this will be help for both an emergency situation, so they might be able to see where the intruder is, and also aid in problems such as burglaries and vandalism.
“We just need a little patience to get this all done,” Hurtado said. “We're a small police department, but we want to keep our students safe. It's would take 15 minutes or more to get help from someone outside our area. Those 15 minutes can mean a lot. We're doing our best to train everyone to know what to do to save lives.”