Friday, January 25, 2013

Security remains high at high school

Police still concerned about shotgun blast


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Hailey police continue to keep a close watch on Wood River High School two weeks after someone blasted their way into the building at night with a shotgun.

“There’s still a person out there that committed a violent act and it still has us concerned,” Police Chief Jeff Gunter said Wednesday. “We’ve got two operations going on—we’ve got a security operation going on and an investigation going on.”

For the past several years, the high school has had a Hailey policeman assigned as a fulltime resource officer, but following the shotgun incident early in the morning of Friday, Jan. 11, the agency has been keeping extra officers in and around the high school.

A $2,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the shooter, but so far no one has come forward with information to claim it. Images of the person who broke into the building were captured on the school video surveillance system, but the quality of the images was such that the person could not be identified.

Entry into the high school was made after someone used a shotgun to shoot out a glass door on the northwest portion of the building. Police conducted a thorough search of the building before school was allowed to start the following day.

Gunter said police still consider the person who broke into the building to be a threat because of the “means of how the person entered.”

“I’ve never seen it before,” the police chief said. “It was a violent act. We are going to follow up every lead until there are no leads. That’s pretty much Lt. Steve England’s only job right now, and that’s an indicator of the importance we’re putting to it.”

 

Security task force

In the aftermath of the shotgun incident, the Blaine County School District is forming a security task force to study and determine what might be done to improve security at district schools and facilities.

Announcement of the task force came from district Security Director Scott Manning at a Jan. 15 school board meeting. Manning said he began discussing the idea with district Superintendent Lonnie Barber even sooner, following the mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.

Manning discussed recent security improvements in the district, including installation of new electronic locks systems and new security cameras at district facilities and reconstruction of front door access at the high school and Wood River Middle School. However, he said additional security upgrades may be needed.

He said the new security task force would include himself, police agencies, district administrators, school representatives, parents and the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition.

Manning said the task force will meet regularly to discuss “what can be done to improve the safety of our schools.”

Regarding the shotgun incident, Manning praised the police response.

“They were very quick in getting there, they were very thorough and they did a great job,” he said.

Barber also noted that he was impressed with the police response, and thanked Gunter, who attended the board meeting.

“When I got to the high school at four o’clock and you were all there, it blew me out as to how efficient they were,” Barber said. “These things are terrible things. The way they breached the building shocked me, but we need to take advantage of those sorts of things to build something better.”

Gunter noted that cooperation between the district and police went well.

“I’m very happy with the way the School District responded,” Gunter said. “It was a great team, but we’re not done.

“We’re not resting until we catch this guy.”


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com

 




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



-->
 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.