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Revisiting Safety & Security Protocols
Revisiting Safety & Security Protocols
Brad Ritchey
Thursday, March 22, 2018

We understand school safety and security protocols are always at the forefront for school personnel, families, caregivers, and community members. Recent events have only exacerbated an already troubling topic and heightened tension and concern, so we want to inform our school-community regarding current safety and security efforts. As a school district, we are constantly discussing and researching strategies to make our facility safer while still maintaining a welcoming environment and atmosphere for learning. Although not an exhaustive list, the circumstances and steps below are part of our regular safety and security routines on a daily and monthly basis.

* For the past several years, a Miami County Sheriff’s Deputy has served as School Resource Officer (SRO) for the district. We enjoy an already close relationship with the West Milton Police Department, who continues to partner with us in a variety of specific circumstances.

* School districts are required by the state to make editions and revisions to crisis management plans on a yearly basis. School districts are required to document when and by whom this process is completed.  Although this process is formal and required, we revisit our plan with administrators, staff members, and law enforcement personnel routinely throughout each school year. 

* Building entrances are locked following student arrival each morning, and visitors must be provided access to facilities by our staff members.  

* Each year, our law enforcement partners formally review ALICE procedures and protocols with staff members. ALICE is an acronym referring to civilian response training – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.  When conducting these trainings, ALICE trained instructors work on and discuss difficult scenarios involving a variety of building locations and circumstances beyond what could affect regular classrooms. 

In addition to our regular routines, we have also instituted the following.

* The district has involved representatives from the Village of West Milton, West Milton Police Department, and Miami County Sheriff’s Office in our annual crisis plan review.

* For observation and feedback, local law enforcement was on site today (Thursday, March 22, 2018) to assist Milton-Union staff members in practicing two intruder drills. We plan to conduct additional drills with help from our law enforcement partners as well as the West Milton Fire Department and Union Township Emergency Services. 

* In small groups, our law enforcement partners expect to meet with all elementary, middle, and high school students over the course of the next month to organize “building walks,” reinforcing exit locations and evacuation strategies. 

* We are researching the possibility of conducting training exercises in our buildings to improve first responder familiarity with our facilities and potential scenarios. 

Our facility is scheduled and used for a variety of district-related events and is often reserved by outside community groups – youth athletics, concerts, meetings, programs, practices, etc. Community members, spectators, and visitors attend these events. Safety and security is not only important while we are in session for students but are also considerations in every instance we are accessible to the public. All of us must still be able to conduct business and live our lives. 

Building safety and security are complex issues requiring a variety of strategies and solutions, not the least of which is vigilance. Regardless of current strategies or future considerations, please continue to be attentive, and if there are concerns or questions, always choose to say something.