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Riverside County Sheriff’s Department expects rise in demand for active shooter training

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is seeing growing demand for active shooter training from our local governments.

"We intend to put this on for our contract partners, our community groups, and our schools and that is all being orchestrated right now," said Captain Dean Agnoletto at the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

He noted the department is set to hold an active shooter training with the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

"We find that the more civilian staff can engage in these training sessions, the more they become familiar," said Captain Agnoletto. "We really focus on the basic shelter in place and fight through what you feel you can fight through."

Agnoletto said the department's staff undergo force on force training twice a month "so they feel they have the equipment, the knowledge, and the experience to fight through these environments."

Based on the number of requests the department has been getting, Agnoletto said he thinks demand is "going to be more and more yearly."

Communication among local governments, schools, and law enforcement has emerged as a priority for leaders throughout the Coachella Valley in regards to preventing security threats.

The Coachella Valley Association of Governments Public Safety Committee held a virtual roundtable discussion today on stakeholders' response and readiness to active shooter situations at schools and other soft targets.

Indio Mayor and chair of CVAG, Waymond Fermon, led the discussion which included the following speakers from local governments and school districts:

• Indio Police Chief Mike Washburn

• Cathedral City Police Chief George Crum

• Palm Springs Unified School District’s Executive Director of Security and Disaster

Preparedness Levaughn Smart

• Desert Sands Unified School District’s Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Jordan

Aquino and Director of Safety and Security Edward Nacua

• Coachella Valley Unified School District’s Director of Safety and Security Gus Paiz and

• Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health’s Desert Region Adult Services

Administrator Jim Grisham

"I think collaboration, prevention, and discussion is how we are going to get in front of these incidents and really ensure our public that we are prepared and we want to prevent any oof these incidents from happening," said Indio Mayor Waymond Fermon.

The roundtable comes as law enforcement and schools have long planned for the scenario of an active shooter situation. Additional trainings have been held since the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas where 19 children and two teachers were killed.

Captain Dean Agnoletto at the Riverside County Sheriff's Department participated in the webinar and discussed the department's involvement in training civilian staff.

Agnoletto also said the department would like to remind members of the community to practice the following safety tips in the event of an active shooter situation:

• Keep road access at/near the scene clear for first responders/law enforcement

• Wait for authorities to provide updates on reunification site

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3

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