Police Activity Forces Brief Lockdown at Callie Kirkpatrick

Story updated at 5:20 p.m.: Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary School and the adjacent Menifee Union School District office on Menifee Road wer...

Story updated at 5:20 p.m.:

Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary School and the adjacent Menifee Union School District office on Menifee Road were on lockdown for about 45 minutes today because of police activity in the area.

Menifee Police were assisting officers at neighboring Mt. San Jacinto College in looking for a suspect in the area, according to Deputy Albert Martinez of the Menifee Police Department. Martinez said a theft was reported at the college but he had no other details. Officials at MSJC could not be reached for comment.

The lockdown was lifted at 2 p.m., minutes before the normal release time for students, said Kelly Slocum, site secretary at Callie Kirkpatrick.

"We secured the campus and got the all-clear at approximately 2 o'clock," Slocum said. "Everyone was a little nervous, but they all did exactly as they are supposed to do in this situation. There were some nervous parents waiting outside, but they were respectful of the situation and everything turned out fine."

Some parents who posted comments about the lockdown on the Menifee 24/7 Facebook page expressed concern that no message was sent out by the school during the incident. Slocum said that an automated message was being prepared when the all-clear was sent out. An updated phone message was then prepared for delivery to all Callie Kirkpatrick parents, she said.

"The principal notified the district office and we were in the process of making the call," Slocum said. "In the midst of everything happening, it took a while to get that call set up."

Betti Cadmus, public information officer for the district, said student safety is the No. 1 priority before school officials prepare the phone message. This often causes a delay of a few minutes.

"Unfortunately, the message doesn't go out instantly," she said. "It takes a few minutes to cycle through. And our No. 1 commitment is student safety. We want to make sure all students are safe before we turn our attention to the out call."

All students were safe and there were no incidents inside the school, Slocum said. She said she did not have any details about the reasons for the police activity, which included a helicopter circling overhead.

Cadmus said it is crucial that parents make sure their current emergency contact information is on file in the school office. She said the report school officials receive after the message is sent out often indicates several of the numbers in the system are wrong.

Parents can update their contact information in the main office of the school, she said.

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I thought they handled everything wonderfully. It was clear they had the children's welfare of main concern. Thank you CKE staff!

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