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      School safety is the top priority for local schools and police

      In an effort to make school a safer place for your children, Illinois State troopers offer a seminar on critical response. This presentation was created in 2011, but more schools were calling for this after the tragedy in Newtown.

      Dallas City Elementary and La Harpe Elementary attended a safety seminar. This seminar prepares the faculty for how to communicate with the police when an active shooter is present on school grounds.

      "Unfortunately it is a part of our society and I think our goal as police is obviously safety and quality of life. And I think as police our main focus is education. Just like the schools their main focus is education. I think to a certain degree so are the police," Illinois State Trooper Dan Leezer said.

      Illinois State Troopers Neal Merry and Dan Leezer created the seminar. Merry says they created the seminar after a shooting incident in the Macomb Farm King in 2010.

      "Just because the police are trained, other people need to be trained on how to respond also. And we looked into the fact that teachers and others in our organization need to look at how they will respond in such a situation as an active shooter," Merry said.

      "Teachers are going to learn some scenarios today that I hope will help us by a few minutes or even by a few seconds because that's going to be important if we are going to be in an emergency situation," principal of Dallas City Elementary Lori Bilbrey said.

      Merry and Leezer travel to local schools offering this education to teachers and faculty. Merry says the number of schools asking for this has increased as a result of the Newtown Elementary tragedy. Overall, the schools have had a positive response.

      "We have had all positive responses, especially from the schools. We have had responses that this is great training, that all teachers in the state need to take it, just based on the fact that it gives them a little bit of ways in being prepared to handle a situation," Merry said.

      Leezer said they plan to provide this seminar to local businesses as well as school districts.

      They have a seminar at Galesburg High School in March and one in Macomb in April.