DuPage County police, fire, school security officials meet for school shooting preparedness

WHEATON, Ill. (WLS) -- Police, fire and school security officials went into the classroom Thursday in a joint effort to improve emergency response in the event of a school shooting or other major crisis.

There has never been an active shooter situation or any other major emergency at Monroe Middle school in Wheaton, but if there ever is this group plans to be ready regardless of if it happens here or anywhere else in DuPage County.

"It's gonna allow them to respond quickly, protect the kids, and community immediately," said Mike Anders, safety director for District 204.

In the wake of the workplace shooting at the Pratt Company in Aurora in February, DuPage County leaders determined they needed to make sure all emergency responders were on the same page.

"We're a large county with lots of diversity. This school does it differently, but at the end of the day we're working toward the same goal," said Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage Regional Superintendent.

So law enforcement, fire departments and school security leaders came together Thursday in Wheaton to introduce universal response language and plans in the event of a crisis.

"From a mutual aid standpoint it's extremely important," said Carter Larry, Valley View School.

"What's nice is police and fire departments train together, we're prepared," said Mark Bozik, Roselle Fire Department.

While this effort is focused on DuPage County, it can serve as a model for other counties throughout the rest of the state.
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