Yakima Area School Districts Become Innovators in School Security - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Area School Districts Become Innovators in School Security

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YAKIMA, WA.--Educational School District 105 and South Central Washington School Districts are paving a new way when it comes to keeping your kids safe.

At a time when the number of state and federal grants are down and the need for school security is at its highest, ESD 105 decided to take matters into their own hands.

Whether it's an incident that happened two blocks from you, like the one in Kittitas County last year when a boy walked onto campus and said he'd been shot by a stranger.

"He wasn't shot by anyone, it was self-inflicted," said Kittitas School District Superintendent Moby Sabin. "Just him coming to campus and having law enforcement surround your buildings, having helicopters in the air. It really is a sobering experience."

Or a tragedy 3,000 miles away when 20 children were shot and killed at a Connecticut elementary school.

"I was scared you know, I didn't want to leave my daughter there, {at school}" said Lucia Ochoa, the parent of a young child.

The need for school security is all around you.

"Parents were calling schools en masse asking what are you going to do to protect my children," said Randy Town, ESD 105 School Safety and Security Coordinator. "And schools needed to have an answer to that, and I think this is one of the answers."

The answer he's referring too is a newly formed Regional School Safety and Security Cooperative. 16 school districts in Yakima, Kittitas and Klickitat counties agreed to pay a certain fee for assistance in safety planning, training and supplies.

"We can go out with a larger sum of money, obviously in volume and broker supplies," said Town. "We just bought a bunch of first aid kits for schools."

Town said students and staff can expect to participate in more "all-hazard" type drills, as well as notice a stronger law enforcement presence. Town said they'll also be checking out schools to make sure visitors are using the right entrances, and they'll review crisis management plans.

Local schools that are interested in becoming a member of the co-op can join anytime.