In the wake of the Clackamas Town Center shooting, Oregon State Police Superintendent Rich Evans and Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts started researching ways to improve police response time during emergencies
Evans said they were struck by an idea used in several other states, including Washington: a school blueprint database that would eventually include other large public facilities. First responders in Oregon already have detailed emergency response plans, but a centralized map database is an important asset, Evans said. He was among the chief backers of a law authorizing such a project, expected to take shape in 2015.
Emergency response is all about speed, Evans said. The time between when first responders are alerted and when they can get to a shooter is a critical window.
During the Clackamas Town Center shooting, for instance, first responders got reports the shooter was in Macy's. But there are two Macy's stores at the mall, one a traditional department store spanning the bottom and top floors and the other a home goods store on the top floor.
"That confused the heck out of us," Evans said.
Evans envisions the project starting with Oregon's k-12 schools and then expanding to include colleges and large public facilities like the Moda Center. More lives are saved with the quickest response time, Evans said, and large or complicated buildings can slow down police.
This is the "the next step and evolution in getting better," Evans said. He said that most Oregon police and first responders already have excellent tactical plans in place.
"We're just trying to take it to the next level," he said.
©2014 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)