PEORIA - School and law enforcement officials in Peoria are making sure they know what to do in times of an emergency.
And they're finding ways to stop the violence before it happens.
It's on the minds of school across the nation. How do we keep schools safe?
Friday, city and school officials in Peoria met with county law enforcement to make sure they all know their roles in case of a tragedy.
"Lives could be at stake everyday and you know the teachers need to know, the superintendents need to go back to their districts and tell the teachers, 'look here's what the policemen are going to do when they get there. Here's what you need to do with your students," said Mike McCoy, Peoria County Sheriff.
Officials walked through emergency scenarios from school shootings to bomb threats. Schools in smaller communities, like Brimfield, say there's often a false sense of security.
"I think it's always been kind of an unknown fact that if you live out in the county, those kinds of things don't happen," said Superintendent Dennis McNamara of Brimfield CUSD 309.
But instances like the shooting massacre in Newtown, CT, prove that's not true and every school should be ready.
Some say there's a much larger issue at play: the social and mental health of students.
"We train the teachers and the teachers work directly with the kids. We work directly with the administrators," said Dr. Gerald Brookhart, Peoria Regional Superintendent.
Schools and law enforcement say they must communicate. That includes sharing student information with each other if they catch unusual or suspicious behavior.
"We don't just want to turn students over to the police department, so we do provide services. But when we see some red flags we must get our local police department and other social services involved," said Dr. Grenita Lathan, Peoria District 150 schools superintendent.
"You can talk guns, technology, cameras and how to respond quickly," said Brookhart. "But the real essence of the problem is in young people who have come to a point in their development that life means nothing to them. And they don't care if they go and how many other people they take with them."
Brookhart says potential threats will not always be obvious.
"If there's a nice little kid, sitting in the back of the room's quiet--as opposed to up raising cane all over the place and running around and hitting people. That's pretty obvious. It's that deeper, quiet, you know under the radar that doesn't get the attention," he said.
A meeting like this--solely focused on school safety--hasn't happened before, according to McCoy. Authorities have also planned a walk through with administrators on every school campus.
They're hoping that proper planning can help prevent future tragedy.