Police conduct drills on campuses amid growing concern about school shootings

WAIMEA, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Active shooter drills are being regularly conducted at Hawaii schools — a sobering reality of life in modern America.

Kauai police say active shooter drills are difficult for students and parents, but they are necessary given the number of school shootings in recent years, including one in Florida this week that left 17 dead.

Earlier this month, KPD conducted an exercise at Waimea High School.

The GoPro video from that drill instantly highlighted the issues many Hawaii schools face: single story buildings, open doors and windows.

All of those make it impossible to lockdown the school all at once.

"We're not here to scare people," said KPD Sergeant John Mullineaux.

"Education is key. We have to educate everywhere from elementary to middle and high school."

Police Chief Darryl Perry initiated Project Guardian last year after a series of school shootings and citing FBI statistics from 2000-2013 that showed schools as the second most-targeted areas for active shooters.

Perry worked with the Department of Education to review every elementary and middle school. Officers looked at maps of the schools, tested their PA systems, even walked the campus finding unsecured areas.

School resource officers are in high schools on Kauai so they worked on their own review plans but KPD did conduct drills at schools that asked.

The GoPro video shows the officer pull up to the Waimea High School campus, and start firing.  Kids scrambled to close and lock doors and windows.

The officer tries the doors, and pries open the window jalousies, letting students know that he can still see them and therefore, they are targets.

Sgt. Mullineaux wants schools to run through active shooter drills once a month, as often as they do fire drills.  He says it's the only way they'll be ready for a real threat.

Honolulu police say they can't do reviews on every Oahu school, but say most have campus security officers and HPD does provide reviews and help develop plans for any school that asks.

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