Police, schools and others reflect and respond to Connecticut tragedy

mammothhighschoolMLPD 3-23-10JOINT NEWS RELEASE

MAMMOTH UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT AND MAMMOTH LAKES POLICE DEPARTMENT

December 15, 2012

Like all of you, we are shocked and saddened by the horrific school shootings that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday and the tragic loss of life.  One cannot begin to wonder what goes through a person’s mind that pushes them to the edge to take such violent action on innocent people and in this case, teachers and kindergarten students.  We share in the grief that all our community has for the victims, their families, and the people of Newtown.

This gives us pause and time to reflect on our need to review our own school safety practices.  Mammoth is a small close knit community with open campuses in which we could never fathom an incident similar to this occurring in our own small town.  And yet, the same could be said about Newtown, CT before Friday.  Preliminary reports indicate that the school had sophisticated security and the coordinated response from the first responders was rapid.

This tells us that we all must remain vigilant for the signs of any troubled youth that live in our community.  Our teachers, administrators and school staff pride themselves on building strong working relationships with our students.  We know all of our students by name.  When there are signs of distress in a student’s life we have a number of steps that we can take to provide additional support to that student and their family.

The officers of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department also know many of the students and their families.  They are a resource, not only for the schools, but also for families dealing with troubled youth or simply problems associated with raising children in these times.

Over this weekend the principals, local law enforcement and mental health services will continue to discuss the events that occurred this past Friday and be prepared to offer counseling services to our students and their families as we return to school on Monday morning.  Law enforcement and the schools will be revisiting their school security and response plans in the coming days.

The Mono County Mental Health team is available to provide support for students and families and can be reached at 760-924-1740.

Let’s keep the families of the lost children and the teachers in our thoughts and prayers during the holiday season.

Rich Boccia

Superintendent of Schools

Mammoth Unified School District

Dan Watson

Police Chief

Mammoth Lakes Police Department

 

 

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20 Responses to Police, schools and others reflect and respond to Connecticut tragedy

  1. Trouble December 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    Yesterday was the saddest day I have had in many years. It’s almost insane to even think this could really happen. I know the police would love to prevent these things from happening, but I think our country has to focus more on giving the mentally ill people some place to go for real free help.

     
  2. jennifer December 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    I pray that this never happens in our community. What has our local police department done to prepare for such a thing? I bet their budget is so small they don’t get to train.

    What a great reason not to cut our cops. How would the city council explain this one?

    Of course, Lehman and the other clowns said they are fine with reducing our police force to just one officer during the day. How could the cops be effective?

     
  3. Big AL December 15, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    We lost something very precious yesterday, something we can not get back .. there was an article here that generated a lot of comments, about bullying, I’m not sure that that subject is in relation to this .. but from what we have seen from at least one other tragedy like this .. bullying led to it.

    Trouble is on the right track. we all know people who need help. This young man needed help, who knows if he reached out? But we all know how peer pressure can be, and how teen peer pressure can be so intense and mean spirited.

    We have seen peer pressure here and how it can be mean spirited even amongst adults.

    On face book, I saw a photo of 3 cops huddled together in grief, over what they all saw and had to deal with. The caption said to pray for them, that they will be able to deal with what they saw and had to do.

    I can imagine how hard it was for them to respond to such a tragedy, the psychological trauma (PTSD) they will have to deal with, and some here think they get paid too much.

    Things like this not only effect the local community, it laterally effects us all, as we search our own hearts for answers and try to deal with the grief, for it really hits us all just as hard as it did in that town.

    I have told people to watch for the blessings in this, I believe that in everything that happens in life blessings come about even from the ashes of tragedy. I think that if we put hope first then we can allow our selves to be opened up see good come from this, if we do not then we only close the door on how we can make things right.

     
  4. Nancy Backerman December 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    The news of the shooting brought me to tears – my heart truly breaks for all those people who lost a precious child or loved one.

    I shudder to think what would happen in an unforeseen, horrible event such as this in our community once the police force is reduced due to the budget cuts. Not that the police could have stopped the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT (article incorrectly says Newton) but the number of available first responders in Mammoth is going to be greatly diminished and that worries me… a lot.

     
  5. Chris December 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Problem is, they don’t know they’re mentally ill. Someone has to notice it and get them “there”, wherever “there” is.

     
  6. Trouble December 16, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    Maybe the good people that have written above are correct . I’m not sure. I don’t like my kids living in fear of idiots or in a place where we have police searching them going into school. But I’m not affraid to say I’m not sure what we can do to prevent tragedies like these.

     
  7. Roy December 16, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I watched a interview with a man that has investigated every mass shooting in this country going back to the Texas tower university shooting 45 years ago…He said his investigation revealed that in every incident, the suspect suffered from some type of mental health issues…

     
  8. SkiJohn December 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Exactly, Roy. I’m not sure how more police could stop someone like this. What will stop them is having a safe, locked area for guns that no one can access, on top of reporting and getting help for those who are mentally ill; not teach them how to shoot guns.

     
  9. familygal December 17, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    While this sad incident happened at a school it is not a problem that schools or the police can fix. This is a family problem…..a mother had guns that her son knew about and went to a great extreme to “take”. Was his mother and family aware of his mental state? What parent would keep firearms around when they may have known that one of their children is mentally troubled? While the police and schools can be on the look out for troubled youth (the shooter was not a school-aged person), it would be more effective to have mental health care readily available for families with troubled children. However, the red tape involved in obtaining that kind of help is great and going the private mental health care direction is too expensive (I have first hand experience with this process as my sister has tried to get help both ways for challenges that she faces). Also, not all people who own guns have mental problems….so outlawing guns is not an answer either (look for one of our Senators to propose some gun control this January!). Bottom line – “the family” needs strengthening and support in general….the schools should focus on educating our children and the police on keeping our community safe and families should focus on raising responsible people. This young man would normally be at an age when he would be making his own way in the world….something went wrong in his upbring and his parents needed to ask for help on his behalf if he wasn’t able to do that for himself.

     
  10. Daris December 17, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    How about reversing the courts ruleing and adding God back in teaching our children morality? In God we trust, One nation under God, God bless America, God bless everyone.

     
  11. Jeremiah's Alter Ego December 17, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    In the wake of such a tragedy how can anybody be behind cuts to the mental health offices when it is happening as we type?. .
    How can any of us act like there is nothing we can do to take step to help the troubled youth and eliminate the ease of access to high powered killing machines?. .
    There is route’s and avenue’s we can take to help prevent things like this from happening in the future, but first some need to stop convincing themselves that legislative action won’t make a difference!!

     
    • Outaws and guns BS December 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      Thankfully, we don’t have to listen to any wacky-right tirades re: gun control (especially assaut weapons) such as –
      “When guns are outlawed – only outlaws will have guns” BS.
      Haven’t we learned our lesson?

       
      • Tad Smidgens December 17, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

        why dont wackos like this guy last wk ever attempt to attack police stations?

         
        • MARK December 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

          They don’t attack police stations for the same reason they don’t attack NRA meetings.

          Two many pistol packing people who might shoot back

           
        • A culture that promotes violence December 17, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

          When assault weapons are outlawed – only outlaws will have assault weapons.

           
          • A culture that promotes violence December 18, 2012 at 6:27 am #

            The NRA and its living-in-the-past adherents will force people to leave the city and move to the country where the boys who love guns can play cowboys and indians all is fine.
            Not a bad idea … if you can afford it.

             
      • Steve K December 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

        This troll is hungry. Let it starve.

         
  12. chip chipperson December 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Call of Duty sold 6 million copys.in the first wk it was rerleased….there are millions and millions of law abiding gun owners……so we blame games and guns for Sandy Hook because of 1 person?

     
  13. Jeremiah's Alter Ego December 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Oh don’t be so ignorant. It’s bad enough we ignore the fact our society promotes and glorifies such activity via video games and movies.
    Their is no way anybody can convince me that high capacity magazines and SKS are for hunting. So save your breath if that is your argument.
    So don’t go boo-hooing when the second amendment is up for debate, not to mention the word “well regulated” is in the 2nd amendment. The real reason we haven’t addressed the problems like having all gun purchases have a back ground check and stop the gun show loop hole. That doesn’t keep the guns out of the rightful hands so stop fooling yourself.
    Also if the NRA would get there hands out of the republican party we might have progress in eliminating high powered guns and high capacity magazines that are only meant to be efficient killers.
    So don’t be so ignorant Why don’t all of you pro 2nd amendment folks go make your argument to victims of such a tragedy and tell them you plan to do nothing different, oh yeah and that same political side is all for cuts to your local mental health clinic.

     
    • Jeremiah's Alter Ego December 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

      To add to my comments the reals reason why we haven’t had any legislative action in the past is because the NRA, And their influence. They have blood on their hands.
      I mean the NRA even said those on the terrorist watch list should have a gun.
      So lets get real folks don’t make the argument the bought off politicians make.
      And yes I understand the guns and high capacity magazines won’t bio-degrade that are already out there, But really how do you justify efficient killing machines to continue to be sold?
      Who really feels there is nothing we can do about the over 9000 we lost this year in this country from gun violence? That is more then the whole Iraq and Afghanistan war put together.

       

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