Will SWAT shields, cameras make your child safer at school?

By Ethan Brogan ethan@glenrockind.com

The Glenrock Police Department has teamed up with the Glenrock School District to update their response to an active shooter situation in wake of the high school students who died in Parkland, Florida, Feb. 14. The new plan would give some serious updates to the previous response program, which Glenrock Police Chief Tim Hurd said needed to be updated.
“God forbid this ever occurs,” Hurd said, but if it does, just cooperate with first responders. Hurd and the Glenrock School District are not providing exact response plans because they don’t want a potential shooter to have access to that information. Nevertheless, Hurd is confident the new plan will help mitigate a potential active shooter threat quickly, while reducing the number of victims.
“There are going to be details that we are problem-solving around,” GSD Superintendent Coley Shadrick said. “In order for us to be effective, we need to be confidential.”
One plan is to stock classrooms or buildings with a set of SWAT shields to protect students and teachers.
“There have been teachers killed opening doors for students that were stuck in the hallways,” Hurd said. “We are going to do the best that we can to make sure teachers have SWAT shields.”
The shields cost approximately $1,100 per classroom and, with more than 100 classrooms in the district, the costs would quickly add up.
“Having those shields in place is good, but again, I don’t know if they will be in every classroom but they will probably be in places that are strategic,” Shadrick said.
Additionally, the GPD will gain access to live video feeds of all schools to assist in stopping an active shooter.
“We’ll be able to see what hallways. . . see where the issues are or where the shooter is,” Hurd said. “Once we can see that, the response time is going to be minimal.”
Hurd emphasized constant monitoring and implementing surveillance protocols will be invaluable in an active shooter situation. Shadrick has increased training of the ALICE program, a resource for preparing against the threat of an active shooter. The acronym stands for: Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
“ALICE basically allows the teacher to be a decision maker and read the situation,” Shadrick said. “You’re really empowering teachers to make decisions in the moment with the information they’ve got.”
The finalities of the active shooter mitigation update are still in the works and the new system will be implemented following several meetings and practice demonstrations between GPD and GSD.
“You cannot plan for every scenario,” Shadrick said. “The goal we want is to be proactive, we want to ensure as much security and cooperation with the school district, with law enforcement, with local agencies so that we can be as protective and proactive as possible.”
Hurd has prepared to use the full-brunt of the GPD to defend schools in Glenrock from an active shooter, citing that a fast response is paramount in mitigation.
“A lot of carnage can happen in two minutes,” Hurd said. “And teachers need a fighting chance.”


Glenrock Independent

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