Jan 15, 2013 12:12 PM by Jen Fenter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
GREAT FALLS - Law enforcement officials, school district staff, and community partners met on Monday to discuss school safety in Great Falls.
GFPS assistant superintendent Tom Moore says the district has some of the best practices in place for school safety, but they want to be proactive in dealing with an ever-changing world.
Officers who work within the schools say the best way to be prepared is to practice emergency drills in order to immediately respond to any type of school crisis, such as what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, several weeks ago.
Capt. Jeff Newton of the GFPD Patrol Bureau noted, "That's something that you hope never happens in your community, what a tragic, tragic thing. You do the best you can, you prepare the best you can, you put in place policies, procedures, training and our response."
Moore said, "Every time one of these instances occur, there is a massive upload of information, new information of what worked and what didn't. And our law enforcement officials share that with us."
The district and GFPD have been conducting emergency-response drills for the past decade to prepare for an "active shooting" scenario.
Newton says they are also working with the fire department to develop a plan in the event of a mass casualty.
The first run of these exercises is scheduled for this spring.