Oregon lawmakers spent the day Thursday looking at ways to prevent and respond to active shooter attacks. It comes two-and-a-half months after a gunman killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.
A combined meeting of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees heard from law enforcement members, mental health professionals, and behavioral analysis experts. They also heard from schools.
Their message: We need help.
"This doesn't mean that educational institutions are weak,” Umpqua Community College Board of Trustees Chair Vanessa Becker said. “It doesn't mean they're not doing what they're supposed to do. But when educational organizations are doing what they do best, which is to educate, they are not set up and designed to respond to immediate crisis."
The Legislature will convene for a regular session in February and may consider measures aimed at funding response to active shooting situations. One possibility is a database of school floor plans to help first responders better assess their options on their way to an emergency.