Central New York, Education, Syracuse

Syracuse Schools and Police Groups to Examine Crisis Preparations

DPS Senior Detective Edward Weber says the recent shooting in Parkland hits close to home and leads officers to take a closer look at training. (c)Sabrina Maggiore 2018

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By Sabrina Maggiore SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS)

The recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida has led schools across the U.S. to examine preparations for active shooter situations. Syracuse University and The Syracuse City School District are no exceptions.

Commonplace in schools across America are lockdown and emergency drills. But the recent shooting in Florida has led some groups to advocate for more preparation that would build on these norms. Organizations have called on schools to expand training to all faculty and staff as well as to tailor training to specific buildings.

The Syracuse City School District may be heeding calls to do this. Last Thursday, Superintendent of the Syracuse City School District Jaimie Alicea met with the Director of Security of the school district to start talking about developing further plans.   http://www.localsyr.com/news/local-news/sta-president-staff-in-syracuse-schools-need-more-active-shooter-training/974515445

“Our Director of Security is working with Armoured One to come up with a plan for more active shooter and stay-in-place training,” said Karin Davenport, a communications specialist for the Syracuse City School district, via email.

According Edward Weber, a Department of Public Safety Senior Detective at Syracuse University, school shootings always hit close to home.

“It hits home with regards to training,” Weber said. “To make sure that S-U, and the students and faculty and staff around us know how to react in an active shooter situation.”

As a result, the Syracuse University Department of Public Safety will also be examining their training and protocol for active shooter situations.

Working in conjunction with the Syracuse Police Department, Syracuse University’s DPS will analyze case histories from recent school shootings including the one in Florida, and could make changes to departmental training.

“At our in-service training we do research and look at case history. We’ll look at this Florida case and see if we are making any mistakes ourselves with regards to training people at S.U., or are we a little bit more advanced than what happened down there, ” Weber said.

Top priority for the Department of Public Safety at Syracuse University is ensuring that students and faculty know how to react if ever faced with an active shooter situation. In recent years, Syracuse University has implemented Orange Alerts, a crisis alert system designed to provide immediate information to students, faculty, and staff in crisis situations.

In addition, the department has worked to train Resident Advisors for active shooter crisis situations.  The department has also heavily promoted “Run. Hide. Fight,” a model used to further inform students on how best to respond to crisis situations.

“Knock on wood, it hasn’t happened here, but I believe that our students and faculty and staff would respond in the correct way if it did,” Weber said.