Local police departments reflect on preparedness after stabbing at Franklin Regional

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After 24 people were injured by a mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville Wednesday, local schools, law enforcement officials and politicians responded by reflecting on levels of preparedness when it comes to acts of violence on a large scale.

Both the Central Valley School District and the Center Township Police Department have received training on how to handle an act of violence in their school, particularly in terms of a shooting, Center police Chief Barry Kramer said. Now the two groups are planning a time when they can work together to practice the training they have received, Kramer said.

Kramer noted the significance of law enforcement and school faculty actually practicing their established protocol -- the department has practiced mock shootings at the district’s elementary schools. He plans to arrange a similar simulation with teachers and faculty across the district, he said.

According to Ambridge Police Chief James Mann, it’s the job of police to find the source of the violence, whether its a shooter or a stabber, and stop that person as quickly as possible.

Mann plans to continue to work with officials at the Ambridge Area School District with their protocol on how to handle violent situations.

Similarly, Moon Township police have been working with the Moon Area School District to put in place an emergency response program for active violence incidents, Moon police Chief Leo McCarthy said, noting that police officers are constantly in training on how to handle such situations.

“It’s something that's constantly being worked on,” he said. McCarthy believes the mass stabbing at Franklin Regional High School is a reminder that it’s not always a gun involved in mass acts of violence.

All three districts have police officers, known as school resource officers, who work inside the schools.