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Southeast Iowa school superintendent cautions rural emergency response delays

A southeast Iowa school superintendent says he's worried about how long it would take law enforcement to respond to a shooter at his rural district's schools. (KTVO file)

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) -- A southeast Iowa school superintendent says he's worried about how long it would take law enforcement to respond to a shooter at his rural district's schools.

Joel Pedersen is superintendent of the Cardinal Community School District in Eldon. Pedersen spoke to the Wapello County Board of Supervisors this week about his district's vulnerability in responding to a shooting threat, a concern following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.

The Associated Press reports that Eldon doesn't have a police force. The nearest law enforcement is in Ottumwa, about 15 miles from the school.

Pedersen worries that in the time it takes for an armed officer to arrive, the worst of a shooting could've already happened. He says they're looking into better techniques to mitigate the situation while they wait for law enforcement.

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