This contribution by Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny describes a collaborative effort to determine the city’s readiness should violence occur on local campuses.
Days after the terrible school shooting in Parkland, Florida, our police and fire chiefs met with representatives of the Chandler and Kyrene districts for a thorough assessment of school safety in Chandler.
They discussed the many measures already in place, and what partnerships could be developed moving forward.
From those talks, a number of initiatives were created, many that have already been put into motion by the district, in cooperation with our police and fire departments.
Some of those include more frequent patrols of those schools where we do not already have School Resource Officers on site. We are also preparing to train select school personnel in what we are calling a School Emergency Response Team, similar to our citizens disaster training performed by the fire department.
This training will allow a number of employees on each campus to learn some techniques to better deal with major medical scenarios and threat assessments.
This supplements the extensive training we have already been doing in schools with lock-down drills and other emergency planning and mapping of campus buildings. We also continue to provide SROs with enhanced equipment and training.
Additionally, safety committees have been formed with police officers and school staff to exchange information on things going on at the school, including issues with particular students, staff and neighbors, as well as other situations that could cause tensions to rise on a campus.
Prevention and the mitigation of threats will go a long way to stopping any type of violent acts that someone could be thinking about carrying out.
And this is where the parents and students come in. Student safety is the responsibility of everyone. If you hear something, say something.
Let your children know it is okay to relay information they may hear or read to the proper authorities. Activity on social media, properly vetted out, can potentially stop some of these acts.
That certainly may have been the case in other instances, where the shooter left traces of his troubled thoughts on social media. As has always been our policy, the Chandler Police and Fire departments will remain committed to assessing their own training and abilities to respond.
We will continue to assess environmental threats that may arise, and we remain in constant and open dialogue with our school district officials.
Seventeen students and staff members died on that February day in Florida, many others were injured. I am sure anyone associated with the tragic shooting still carry emotional scars.
But if we all continue to work together to keep our schools and children safe, perhaps we can avert the horrors of that incident and the many others that have become too common in our lifetime.