The County of Tulare, in partnership with the Tulare County Superior Court, Judicial Council, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, and in coordination with other local agencies, conducted an active shooter training drill.
The drill took place on August 18, 2016, between the hours of 12pm and 5pm in the Visalia Division located at 221 S. Mooney Boulevard. The building was closed to the public at noon and reopened the following morning.
Approximately 660 employees participated in the drill, and many were evacuated to nearby county buildings.
While the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office has role played active shooter scenarios for many years as part of its regular training, this was the first time a multi-agency active shooter training has taken place at a Superior Court in California.
“The Tulare County Superior Court is very fortunate to partner with our local government and justice partners to organize this event. We hope that our experience will not only prepare our staff and emergency responders in the event of an actual emergency, but will also benefit other court and county agencies interested in planning a similar drill” said Presiding Judge, Gary Paden.
“Active shooter training teaches employees to react immediately. The goal is to run, hide or fight”, said Sheriff Mike Boudreaux. “The perpetrator needs to be disarmed.”
He likens the new mantra to the familiar “Stop, drop and roll” taught by the fire departments around the country. Without hesitation, people need to react to imminent danger.
“We will make sure our staff is trained in real-life scenarios,” he said. “They will develop an understanding of what role each person should take to avoid a tragic end.”
This event enhanced communication and coordination between agencies, helped review and refine emergency response procedures and identified and eliminated security gaps to promote the safety and security of the public, judicial officers, and staff.
“The County of Tulare takes the safety our of employees and our constituents very seriously. We want employees to feel confident they would know how to react in the event there is an actual emergency” said County Administrative Officer, Michael Spata.