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EMPIRE — Lockout was lifted at Madison Elementary and Sunset School just before students would have normally been released from classes Friday.

Coos Bay School District Superintendent Bryan Trendell said he got the call that lockout could be lifted at 12:40 p.m.

"Our staff did a great job," Trendell said. "It might have been a little inconvenient for people if we had gone passed the pickup time, but it is well worth it for the safety of the kids."

The schools were put on lockout at 11:30 a.m. when the Coos Bay Police Department Coos County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police chased a man into the neighborhood next to the schools who had a warrant for his arrest. According to Trendell, the chase began in a vehicle but ended on foot.

A perimeter was set up by Coos Bay Police, Coos Bay Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police around both schools and throughout the Empire area.

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An OSP trooper at the perimeter told The World that they were searching for a man in a white shirt who is probably running who has a warrant out for his arrest. No other information has been released yet.

A school lockout means it is business as usual inside the building, but no one is allowed in or out. Students are pulled in from the playground and returned to classes, or to finish lunch as was the case in Thursday’s lockout.

“It is a safety precaution,” Trendell said. “We don’t want anyone coming into the building. The school will remain on lockout until the police give the okay that things are fine in the neighborhood. Unfortunately we have to do these safety precautions, but no staff or students are in danger. We just don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way.”

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.

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