Police, Schools

Citrus Heights school lifts ‘shelter in place’ after parolee located, arrested

Woodside school, citrus Heights, K-8, shelter-in-place-lockdown
Woodside K-8 school in Citrus Heights, located at 8248 Villa Oak Drive. // Image credit: SJUSD

Sentinel staff report–
Police said students and staff at a K-8 school in Citrus Heights were asked to “shelter in place” for about an hour Tuesday morning while officers searched a nearby neighborhood for a wanted parolee.

Lt. David Gutierrez told The Sentinel that parole units were in the area of Olivine Avenue and Wachtel Way, near the northeastern border of the city, searching for a wanted parolee who fled on foot when initially contacted. He said the parolee was contacted about five blocks away from Woodside K-8, resulting in the school being asked to shelter in place “out of an abundance of caution,” although he said there was no indication the parolee was headed for the school.

Gutierrez confirmed the parolee was located and arrested, but said the name of the man would have to be released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which was the arresting agency. However, a CDCR staff member who answered the phone on Tuesday afternoon said information could not be looked up without the name of the arrested being provided first.

An alert message posted on the San Juan Unified School District website said the shelter-in-place lasted approximately from 10:06 a.m. to 11:10 a.m., with the remaining part of the school day “continuing as normal.”

Is shelter-in-place the same as lockdown?

According to the SJUSD website, school lockdowns are the highest level of alert, while shelter-in-place situations are at a lower level of alert.

“During an emergency situation a school campus may be placed in one of two modes: Lockdown or Shelter-in-Place. Often, the determination is made in coordination with law enforcement officials based on the threat level presented to the safety of those on campus,” the District’s website says. “To help protect the safety of students and staff, no one is allowed to enter or leave a school campus when placed in lockdown or shelter-in-place… Anyone attempting to gain access to a campus will be refused entrance and asked to wait off-campus.”

Taken from the SJUSD website:

What is a Lockdown? (highest level of alert)
Used in eminent danger, situations such as when there is a potentially dangerous stranger with or without a weapon on campus, violent criminal activity or a dangerous incident on the immediate perimeter of the school, etc. Lockdown orders will be made in plain language so all persons on campus understand the lockdown is not a drill.

During a lockdown, students and adults are brought inside classrooms and other designated areas. Doors and windows are closed and locked immediately, curtains or other window coverings, if available, are pulled closed; all lights are turned off. Students, staff and visitors are to stay out of sight of windows and doors and shall remain silent (this includes no talking or cell phone use). They may take cover behind barriers such as bookcases, partitions or desks.

What is Shelter-in-Place? (raised alert level)
Used in potentially violent situations, such as a police helicopter in neighborhood, police activity in the neighborhood; reports of a potentially dangerous situation near the campus; severe weather, etc. Doors and windows are closed and locked immediately, curtains or other window coverings, if available, are pulled closed. Students and staff may not move about on campus, except with an authorized safety escort. Class instruction may continue. Shelter-in-place orders will be made in plain language so all persons on campus understand that the shelter-in-place is not a drill.

Earlier this year in March, Sylvan Middle School in Citrus Heights was put on lockdown for at least 20 minutes while police responded to reports of gun shots near the school.

From March: Middle school in Citrus Heights locked down after report of shots fired