The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Dallas Smith

Active shooter exercise to proceed


The Klickitat County Emergency Management has a couple of projects that have made progress. The new Emergency Services building is almost ready to be put to good use helping the citizens of Klickitat County. And an active shooter drill scheduled for Sept. 26 has made some headway. The drill is proceeding despite concerns from many who feel it’s too much of a safety hazard.

The new Emergency Services building should be finished with construction between mid-September and the end of September, according to Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Powell. Once construction is finished, the building will need to be outfitted with all of the necessary equipment.

“We are actively getting equipment for the building,” Powell asserts. The project is right on schedule, and when asked if there would be a grand opening, Powell responds with a hearty, “Of course!”

The drill to simulate an active shooter on Main Street in Goldendale was set up by Powell, who says its primary objective is to heighten awareness in Goldendale businesses of the dangers of an active shooter situation. He is diligently working to prepare for the drill, but formal approval from the City of Goldendale came reluctantly and only on condition that no gun of any kind is used. Instead of carrying a gun and shooting blanks, firecrackers will be used to simulate gunfire. Powell plans on meeting with the businesses on Main Street to discuss what they should do.

Both Goldendale Chief of Police Rick Johnson and Mayor Clint Baze feel that businesses should be prepared for emergencies, but the active shooter drill has too many uncontrolled variables to be safe.

“As far as the drill goes, I don’t want it to happen,” Baze says. “There will be too many people who won’t understand what’s happening and be frightened.”

“I’m very hesitant,” Johnson adds. “I understand it’s good to have training, but usually when we run a drill like this it’s in a totally controlled environment.”


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