The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

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By Beka Compton
The Times 

Regional SWAT trains at WHS


Beka Compton

Learning the school's layout, a SWAT team member lights up the stairway with the light on his weapon. The school shooter training was held at the Waitsburg High School on July 19.

WAITSBURG-On Tuesday, July 19, 2022, a fleet of county law enforcement vehicles, including a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), took over the parking lot at Waitsburg High School for the best possible scenario: Training.

The Walla Walla Regional SWAT team, made up of officers from Walla Walla County Sheriff's Office and the Walla Walla Police Department, took advantage of empty classrooms for an active shooter drill. The training began at 7:30 a.m. and finished around 2:30 p.m.

The SWAT team trains often, but this was the first time at the local high school. The unique layout of the 1926 three-story building presented officers with challenges as they worked to clear all the classrooms, the gym, locker rooms, and the auditorium.

The training allowed officers to familiarize themselves with the building's layout should they ever have to respond to a call. This training was for the officers and law enforcement agencies, not the school faculty or student body.

The WWPD and the WWSO will return to the campus on Monday, July 25, for K9 unit drills at Preston Hall Middle School. The exercises will begin at 1:00 p.m. and run through the evening. Other agencies that may participate in Monday's training include Tri-Cities and Milton Freewater, Ore., agencies.

The Waitsburg School District and participating law enforcement agencies ask for the community's patience, and consideration as the school building will be closed to the public.


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