Officials work on school-violence response plan

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Englewood police and school district officials continue working together to update and upgrade the 10-year-old plan titled “Strategic Response to Violence in Schools.”

“The work has intensified the past year to make sure the police and fire departments have the key information on every public and private school in the community,” Police Commander Gary Condreay said. “We now have detailed maps and up-to-date evacuation plans for each of the buildings.”

He said that not all the work is done on paper. For example, about 80 police department and Englewood schools personnel attended an active shooter training program put on by members of the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

“This was a training session on the response to a shooter in a school,” Condreay said. “It included information on the difference between a lockdown and a lockout and how to conduct a school evacuation.”

A follow-up to the training session will be a practice school evacuation in the near future, the police commander said.

“Also we are planning a major active shooter exercise later this year,” Condreay said. “It will involve our police and fire departments, the school district as well as Tri-County Health and first responders from several neighboring jurisdictions.”

He said that event will test to see if the plan works and also to make sure all agencies can communicate in case of an emergency.

Brian Ewert, school superintendent, said the training for faculty and administrators has been done very well.

“I am very pleased with the strong relationship we in the schools have with the all the City of Englewood departments. I am particularly pleased with how well we work in concert with the police,” he said. “We don’t like to think about it, but we need to go through this training so, if the unthinkable happens, our people will be as prepared as possible so they know where to go and what actions to take.”

All the training has been done locally so far, but a federal grant will allow about 10 people from Englewood to attend a week-long program in Maryland put on by the Federal Emergency Management Agency called “Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools.”

Condreay, school resource officer Tom Rowley and Steve Green, fire department training coordinator, will join several school district representatives attending the training.

“We are excited for the more in-depth training our people will receive at the upcoming FEMA session,” the school superintendent said. “I am sure it will provide valuable training and this may be the first time in the history of our schools that district personnel will be attending at this type of program.”

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