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Sarasota County Schools Police Department Conducts District-Wide School Safety Drill

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December 14, 2018 – On Friday morning, the Sarasota County Schools Police Department conducted its first district-wide lockdown safety drill for all traditional public elementary, middle and high school campuses. Students and staff were given verbal prompts over their intercom systems, safety alert lights were activated and participants discussed and practiced protocols for a lockdown. Media was invited to Wilkinson Elementary School to experience elements of the drill in real-time.

“Though we are very pleased with how everything went, there is always room for improvement,” said Todd Bowden, superintendent of Sarasota County Schools. “As a district, we will continually enhance our approach to school security. Chief Enos and the Sarasota County Schools Police Department are highly cognizant of the best practices for drills and reinforcing our school security plans. The goal is for our students and staff to feel as in-control of their surroundings during an emergency as possible, and for them to gain comfort from having a proactive plan exclusively focused on their safety. We greatly appreciate our local law enforcement, first responder, community and media partners who all contributed to the widespread awareness around this drill. Our hope, in time, is that our school communities will adjust to these procedures and these measures will become a source of life-saving guidance in the event of an emergency.”

“We unfortunately live in a world where drills like this are necessary,” commented Sarasota County Schools Chief of Police Tim Enos. “The tragic incident that occurred six years ago today at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, among others, has shaped the way our nation strives to protect its school communities today. There have been far too many school shootings, and collective analysis of all these incidents consistently points to enhanced protocol and drills in addition to strengthening preventative measures and resources. The district actively works with many community partners to extend wraparound services that address mental and behavioral health concerns. A particularly meaningful partnership is with Sandy Hook Promise on their Say Something and Safety Assessment and Intervention initiatives. We hope that our students, school leaders, staff and community members alike make a point to utilize these practices to increase their safety and awareness, both on and off school grounds. It will take all of us working together to keep our children safe, and I have great confidence in our community.”


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