Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Homeland Security teams with schools on safety tactics

Addressing concerns of possible violence in schools has become a priority to the Webster Parish School Board.

Steve Dozier, Superintendent of Webster Parish Schools, said the school board wants to fine tune what they have.

"We need to explore any additional things that can be done to secure the safety of our children and staff members," he said. "The more eyes you get to look at it, the better it will be."

Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, John Stanley, will be teaming up with an Alcohol Tobacco Firearms Explosives Senior Special Agent and school board personnel to hold a training seminar on March 12 and 13.

The team will review the current safety plan the school board has in place.

Currently, security cameras are installed in Webster Parish Schools with a new installation being put in at Doyline School.

The Emergency Operations Center of Homeland Security has capabilities to view the parish school cameras if needed in an emergency situation.

Following safety review training, an active shooter training will be held in the near future.

This training will prepare Webster Parish Sheriff's Special Weapons and Tactics team, school personnel and children to be prepared if a shooter is in the building.

Stanley said this training comes in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings.

"All of that has an influence," Stanley said. "We have talked about doing this for years, though."

Dozier said he feels practice is important.

"If you have never done it, the first time will not be as good as the fifth time and the same thing with teachers and kids," he said. 'If you make mistakes and a shooter is in the building, it could cost your life. We don't want to lose anyone.

"I have talked with Kevin Washington (supervisor of Child Welfare and Attendance) about some things that we would like to have done," he continued, referring to the active shooter training. "You can talk about it all you want, but it (the safety plan) needs to be second nature so that they (the children and school staff) react. We hope that this never happens, but I'd rather them have faced a practice situation. Let's practice and hope that it never comes to be."






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