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Expert says Arizona equal to other states in school shooting preparedness

PHOENIX — Friday’s shooting at a high school near Seattle has Arizona authorities wondering if they are ready if a rampage started here.

Richard Bloom, director of terrorism intelligence and security studies at Embry-Riddle University, said three questions need to be answered when it comes to school shootings.

“How do you prevent violent behavior from occurring? No. 2, how do you manage it, once it’s beginning, and stop it as quickly as you can with the fewest amount of casualties? No. 3 is after the fact — what’s the best way of collecting and analyzing information to learn from the situation?”

Bloom said it’s hard to answer those questions because each school shooting situation is unique.

“There are mistakes that have been made in managing many of these situations that can (be) avoided,” Bloom said. “There’s no cook book, there’s no magic bullet, and there’s no Top 10 practices that will make things go your way.”

Bloom said Arizona is equal to other states in being prepared for a shooting on a school campus, but he would like to see school officials make sure that all lines of communication are open with and law enforcement officers. That could be critical in saving lives during a crisis.