By Jeff Gallatin
City school and police officials got training Friday they hope never to have to put in practice: dealing with a gunman at Bay High School.
Friday’s training was the second such session and follows one that took place last year. All the high school students and staff, as well as the city police department, took part. The students took part at the same time while the school staff and police officers did it in different shifts.
School and police officials were pleased with the latest training.
“We were very pleased with Friday’s training,” Bay Principal Jason Martin said. “It is a training we hope we never need to use, but feel it is important to be prepared.”
Kevin Krolkosky, a detective and the youth officer for the city police, also was pleased.
“It went well,” he said. “Obviously, it’s not something we ever would want happening in our schools, but given the events of recent years in other schools, we need to be prepared in case something did happen.”
Both men said the new training was useful.
“Last year we had trained our staff and a group of students, along with the Bay Village Police Department, to look at situations involving classrooms,” he said. “This year we focused on our procedures in large group spaces such as the library and cafeteria. We feel that our staff is now better prepared in how to handle these spaces and that we have created a group of student leaders who are also prepared to react.”
Krolkosky said preparing for different situations is the best approach.
“You can’t ever predict for certain what someone will do,” he said. “But you can prepare for different situations, which is what we’re trying to do.”
At this point, Krolkosky said the training has been done largely with the Bay students, city police and some members of the Westshore Drug Enforcement unit.
“They’re the ones who would be directly involved with anything which would take place in our city,” he said. “But, obviously, we have strong working relationships with other communities and their safety forces, so there are some scenarios where you could have other departments involved.”
Krolkosky said the strong working relationship between the schools and the police department is a key to the training.
“We’ve always had a good relationship, and that will be crucial in an emergency situation like this would be,” he said. “The training just helps reinforce that and will help us react in the best way possible.”
Krolkosky said there will be additional exercises in the future.