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Police, schools work together to prepare for emergencies

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Police respond to Waukesha South High School shortly after an officer shot a student who authorities say pointed a pellet gun at them.

MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- Gun-related lockdowns this week have gotten schools across the state talking about safety measures.

Police say a school officer shot a student who threatened another with a pellet gun on Monday in Waukesha. On Tuesday, a student stabbed a school officer, who then shot the student, according to Oshkosh police.

"Those schools in Waukesha and Oshkosh are going to be affected for a long time, and the people in them, so what we need to do is prevent things like this from happening," said Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke.

Foulke says with every tragedy or close call, his department learns something new about how to best keep kids safe.

"Every one of these school shootings, every one of these shootings in a public building are things that we study and we get better in our response and again on our prevention," he told 27 News.

But Chief Foulke says it takes more than just police presence in schools to prevent dangerous incidents.

"It's also the culture of the school, what's going on in there, addressing bullying types of issues," Foulke said. "Those are things that we really need to focus on to prevent this from happening, because, maybe you can stop it and you can have heroic actions by teachers or the police or whatever. But, man, that's too late."

Middleton's school officers work closely with district officials on safety measures and training.

The relationship officers have with students and staff lets them know they can speak up if something doesn't seem right, to stop an incident from happening, Foulke says.

State grants have helped pay to upgrade school entry security and the camera system. Now, officers can see what's happening in a school in real-time and respond as needed.

Chief Foulke is confident the school communities know what to do if something bad were to happen.

"I think it's almost intuitive to them now, you're always gonna have to make a last-second decision on what's the safest thing to do," he said.

One of the district's elementary schools is holding a lockdown training on Friday. It was scheduled before the incidents happened in Wisconsin, but will be more important to staff and students than ever, because of it.

Jennifer Kliese

Weekend Anchor and Reporter, 27 News

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