"To stop the shooter we have to be proactive," said Richland Police Chief Michael Burgan. "We started presenting to administrators about ten years ago that situations can and will happen."
Burgan knows first hand what its like to come face to face with a gunman; his own department was attacked back in September.
"I sit amongst four schools, an elementary and high school, and two colleges," said Burgan. "Why he chose us I will never know but I am glad he did."
Burgan was one of several people at the forum speaking about violence in schools since the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.
"We realize the issue is not just gun violence," said Karla Good Coordinator. "You have to look at a variety of thing from bullying to depression and mental health."
This was the first of several meetings set to take place over the next few months.
"This is a call to action we must do something and it's not going to be easy," said Good. "We want the communities input on this."