Connecticut mass shooting creates safety concerns in the Cerritos College community

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Genaro Molina

A police officer keeps vigil as students are dropped off at the Newtown Middle School as classes resume in Newtown, Connecticut, Tuesday, December 18, 2012. Newtown’s public schools opened for the first time since last week’s shooting, but with police stationed at entrances both to reassure parents and pupils. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Safety procedures become a concern in the Cerritos College Community following the Connecticut Massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 28 dead.

On Friday, Dec. 14, a gunman named Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School armed with multiple guns.

The gunman shot and killed 28, including himself, and his mother who was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Following the shooting, school safety procedures nationwide have been placed in question.

Cerritos College President and Superintendent Dr. Linda Lacy addressed the Connecticut Massacre in a memo she emailed to the Cerritos College Faculty on Friday, Dec. 14.

In the memo, Lacy urged all employees who personally observe any individual exhibiting erratic and threatening behavior to alert potential victims and disclose the information to professionals trained to evaluate and handle such situations. These professionals include campus medical health and law enforcement personnel, parents, and threat assessment teams.

Cerritos College Police Chief Richard Bukowiecki reassures the Cerritos College Community of its safety concerns by saying, “My officers have received extensive training involving active shooters.”

Bukowiecki also adds, “They all (Cerritos College police officers) receive refresher training on a routine basis. We (Cerritos College police officers) also train closely with outside agencies.”

Cerritos College has 14 sworn police officers under the command of Bukowiecki, all of which are armed.

Bukowiecki also stated that he conducts training exercises that involve all emergency scenarios. The training is available to all Cerritos College employees.

ASCC President Lance Makinano understands that a mass shooting happening on the Cerritos College campus is possible.

“In today’s society, it (school mass shootings) is a given and expected.”

Makinano believes that Cerritos College is better prepared for an incident involving a gunman on campus compared to an elementary school that doesn’t have armed police officers on campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Here on this campus, We (Cerritos College community) have armed response. We (Cerritos College) have panic buttons at desks. We (Cerritos College community) have panic phones that we can just run to, so hopefully that will help chief (Bukowiecki) come here (on campus) in time and maybe limit loses and possibly curtail any violence toward other students or faculty or staff.”

Makinano also believes that it should be mandatory for some members of each department to participate in the emergency training exercises conducted by Bukowiecki.

The Cerritos College Police Department urges anyone to report any criminal or suspicious activity on the Cerritos College campus by contacting the Cerritos College Police Department at (562) 860-2451 Ext. 2325.