Law enforcement pledge support for enhanced security in cmcss elementary schools
Subject: Montgomery County and Clarksville City Mayors, Law Enforcementpledge support for enhanced security in CMCSS elementary schoolsDear Community Leader,Thanks to support from Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and County Mayor CarolynBowers, CMCSS has worked out a collaborative security support plan with Clarksville CityPolice and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. In the plan, off-duty armed city andcounty law enforcement officers will be present in all elementary schools for the springsemester, beginning this month.In response to the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, CMCSSadministrators reviewed the current safety protocol and what might be done to enhancepractices already in place. The most immediate response taken in December was thevisibility and presence of law enforcement at elementary schools in the system.Director of Schools Dr. B.J. Worthington said school administrators spent the days followingthe school tragedy meeting with law enforcement reviewing current practices and proceduresand looking at what improvements could be made both in the short term and in the long term.“There was never a question of us continuing to do business as usual, even though we havehad numerous external and internal reviews of our safety procedures. What happened inConnecticut changed the world’s perspective of school safety,” Dr. Worthington said.CMCSS will put into place off-duty officers in all elementary schools using funds availablefrom energy and fuel savings, as well as funds allocated for textbooks which were unspentdue to an unusually lower than projected student enrollment this year. However, the fundingwill be sustainable for a limited time, requiring other resources to fully fund the plan. Theplan is only in place for the spring semester since the State General Assembly has indicatedpossible legislation related to school safety may be forthcoming.Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson emphasized: “Public safety is our number onepriority and these are our children. We will certainly do what is necessary to be proactive andwork to prevent a tragedy from occurring in our community.”Montgomery County Mayor Bowers stated: “Even in tight budget times, we have to do whatwe know is right. This is a national issue and we need to work together to take care of ourcommunity. A collaborative effort in times like these is the key to providing our students andeducators with a learning environment where they can feel safe.”Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said: “This is a practical response to a very challengingissue. The only way we can increase safety in our elementary schools right now is to worktogether. I appreciate the steps that CMCSS has already taken and believe we should doeverything possible to protect our children.”
Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley added: “The Clarksville Police Department has a verypositive working relationship with CMCSS and we’re proud to be a part of this program. Ifully support these efforts and will do everything I can to help keep these students safe.”The following are safety-related activities CMCSS already has in place:• Building entry buzzer systems or building design to route visitors to office depending on building design.• Multiple surveillance cameras at every location.• SRO’s at each middle and high school location. Required safety drills including building lockdown drills are practiced at every school at a minimum of four times yearly, along with monthly fire drills.• Emergency Response Tabletop Drills sessions providing “mock emergency scenarios” are conducted by the Risk Management / Safety Department, assisting schools to put emergency plans into action.• School safety protocol and procedures required at every school.• Individual School Crisis Plans. The implementation and training is ongoing for the School Crisis Plans, which are available to all local emergency response agencies.• CMCSS Staff members have completed 650 NIMS (National Incident Management System) compliant training courses.• Classroom Emergency Response Guides are in each classroom• Transportation Emergency Response Guides are on each school bus and Maintenance vehicle.• School Emergency Information for Parents & Guardians booklets has been provided.• School Emergency Management teams are established at every location.• A School Nurse is assigned to each location.• District Level Emergency Response Tabletop Sessions conducted by the Risk Management / Safety Department.