The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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Police departments utilize school building for active shooter training

With help from student volunteers, officers learn how to handle crisis situations

From June 20-30, the Shawnee Police Department ran an active shooter training at Mill Valley. Training sessions like these help prepare officers to handle active threats.

Matt Seichepine, the captain of the police department’s special operations bureau, planned and led the training with specific goals in mind.

“The objective of the training was to get all of our people through the training but then to make it as realistic as possible,” Seichepine said. “We invited officers from agencies that border us [because] we know if something’s going to happen, they’re likely to come into our city. So we wanted to get our officers working with those officers.”

According to Seichepine, officers from Bonner Springs, Lenexa, the sheriff’s office and Merriam all went to the training. In order to train the many officers in attendance, the police needed student volunteers to help roleplay. One of these student volunteers was junior Aiden Lehr.

“Several of the times we were running out of classrooms when a school shooter was running in,” Lehr said. “Several times I was injured, like I was pretending that I got shot in the leg, shot that arm and [the officers being trained] were just reacting to what I was doing. They were going to help me and still get the shooter at the same time.”

School Resource Officer Darion Hillman was one of the people being trained. He thought the realness that having student volunteers provided was the most valuable part of the training.

“In law enforcement, whenever you do training you want it to be as close as [possible to the real thing],” Hillman said. “Getting the student involved with all the yelling and screaming and also knowing we’re going to have to run upstairs and downstairs, there’s going to be fire alarms going off [made it feel real].”

Lehr thought helping at the training was a positive experience and a great opportunity to give back.

“I decided to help because they do a lot for us,” Lehr said. “It’s really great to get that experience for me and to help them so they know what to do.”

Knowing what to do in case of crisis situations is important for officers. Seichepine explains why the police department prioritizes this preparation.

“Unfortunately, we know that these things can happen anywhere,” Seichepine said. “There’s really no rhyme or reason to when or where they happen, so we have to be prepared. It could happen at any given point in any of our district buildings, whether it’s DeSoto or Shawnee Mission. The unfortunate reality is we have to be ready.”

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About the Contributors
Emma Clement
Emma Clement, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief
This is senior Emma Clement’s third year on the JagWire staff. This year she is JagWire and Mill Valley News editor-in-chief, in addition to being a writer and designer for the newspaper. When she is not working on journalism, Emma enjoys reading, drawing, painting, watching TV shows and spending time with friends and family. She is also involved at Mill Valley as NHS president, Spanish NHS vice president, Youth for Refugees president, Model UN president, NAHS vice president and is a member of NEHS, Scholar’s Bowl and Women’s Empowerment Club. Outside of school, Emma works at Pinnacle Gymnastics as a gymnastics coach and is on the editorial board for elementia, the Johnson County Library’s teen literary magazine.
Luke Wood
Luke Wood, JagWire photo editor
This is senior Luke Wood’s third year on the JagWire newspaper staff and he will be continuing in his role of photo editor. Outside of the JagWire staff, Luke works on his cars, plays video games  and plays baseball. Other activities Luke enjoys include listening to music, welding and riding jet skis. Luke is very excited to have fun in his last year in high school.

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  • K

    Keith WebbJul 10, 2023 at 11:02 am

    Police training is necessary and important. More important – and more necessary – is training the true first-responders in the event of a school shooting: the on-site staff. That gap between the first shot and police engaging the shooter is HUGE. Teachers need more training than the basic, “lock your door and hope for the best.”

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