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Safety and Security Status Report

Status Report/Chronology of Major CCSD Safety & Security Initiatives: 1999-2018

 

2017-2018 School Year

  • Annual Review of School Safety Plans
  • Installation of Security Foyers at six (6) elementary schools
  • All CCSD police officers deputized by Sheriff Frank Reynolds; this is a force multiplier for the benefit of the county and school district.
  • CCSD hosts National School Resourse Officer Advanced SRO course for agencies and school districts providing school resource officers.
  • Emergency Operations Facilitator conducted 22 Fire/Severe Weather observations, 18 table-top exercises and 4 safety assessments for schools within the district.
  • “Stop the Bleed” program to be implemented by end of year
  • AED program expanded to ensure multiple devices are in place at schools
  • Officers trained/carry Narcan to assist with potential overdose of opiates
  • Officers continue assignment at L.R. Tippens facility
  • Cherokee County Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP) updated
  • Reciprocal agreement to provide employee sheltering in the event of an emergency between County Administration Building and FRP ESC facility.
  • Fire/Severe Weather drill held at FRP ESC Facility
  • Police Department undergoes on-site assessment and is recommended for Recertification under State Certification Program.
  • Upgrades begin on radio communication equipment to include site repeaters, IP-repeaters, administrative radios and 800MHz desk sets.
  • Work begins with County 911 Center to migrate from VHF to 800MHz system to support inter-operability between agencies.

2016-2017 School Year

  • Annual Review of School Safety Plans
  • Installation of Security Foyers at eight (8) elementary schools
  • School Police Officer is assigned one day per week to work with students and staff at the L.R. Tippens facility to foster relationships and use de-escalation skills acquired in Crisis Intervention Training.
  • Delivery of training program - Preparing for and Responding to Active Shooter & Other Incidents to district personnel; 537 employees attended.

2015-2016 School Year

  • Installation of Electronic Access Control Systems is complete
  • Emergency Operations Facilitator is hired by the School District to oversee district-wide radio communication network and safety planning
  • Police Department undergoes on-site assessment and is recommended for Recertification under State Certification Program

2014-2015 School Year

  • Annual Review of School Safety Plans
  • School Board Policy (GAMB) related to Weapons and information contained in CCSD Discipline Code regarding weapons on school property are modified in consideration of changes in Georgia law.
  • Six (6) sworn police officers are hired by the School District
  • Begin installation of Electronic Access Control System at elementary and middle schools
  • All police officers attend Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)

2013-2014 School Year

  • Annual Review of School Safety Plans
  • Digital CCTV Systems added to elementary schools
  • Mass Notification/Panic Alarm Systems installed in all schools
  • District Parent Notification System is implemented
  • Cellular back-up for alarm systems installed in all schools
  • Simulation drill focusing on School District’s Reunification Plan is planned and executed in cooperation with Cherokee EMA/OHS in February 2014.

2012-2013 School Year

  • Annual Review of School Safety Plans.
  • Police Department undergoes on-site assessment and is recommended for Recertification under State Certification Program.
  • Superintendent of Schools creates Ad Hoc Safety & Security Committee following tragic occurrence at Sandy Hook Elementary – Newtown, Connecticut.

2011-2012 School Year

  • All high schools and middle schools implement Athletic Security plans for stadiums and gymnasiums.
  • Parental Awareness for Safe Schools (PASS) Program recognized as finalist for Curtis McClung Motorola Award of Excellence at Georgia Association Chiefs of Police Summer Conference.
  • Drug Detection Canine donated to police department.
  • Build-out of digital UHF system continues.

2010-2011 School Year

  • Federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Grant awarded to School District Police Department to enhance department’s ability to communicate.
    • Digital UHF radios issued to all school-based administrators
    • Digital UHF radios issued to Reunification team leaders
    • Digital UHF radios issued to all police personnel
    • UHF and VHF mobile radios to be installed in police units
    • Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) to be installed in police units
    • Back-up generator to be installed at tower site
    • Additional repeaters to be installed at four school site locations
  • All School Safety Plans submitted to Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Homeland Security-Emergency Management for review and found to be in compliance with O.C.G.A. 20-2-1185.
    Parental Awareness for Safe Schools (PASS) Program recognized by National School Safety Advocacy Council at national conference.
  • School Board Policy (GAMB) related to Weapons and information contained in CCSD Discipline Code regarding weapons on school property modified in consideration of changes in Georgia law.

2009-2010 School Year

  • Police Department undergoes on-site assessment and is recommended for Recertification under State Certification Program.

2008-2009 School Year

  • Ongoing assessment and evaluation of existing programs continues.

2007-2008 School Year

  • Parent Emergency Response Team (PERT) Program begins.
  • Schools can directly communicate with police department and transportation using base-station radio on 821MHz frequency.
  • Cherokee County Contingency Plan for Critical Incident Response at County Schools revised; LEOP Annex: Critical Incident Response at County Schools

2006-2007 School Year

  • Cherokee County School District Police Department recognized as State Certified Agency.
  • Purchase of Satellite Phones to enhance communication capability in the event a loss to primary communication infrastructure occurs.
  • SPLOST Funds are approved to enhance inter/intra-radio communication capability on the 821MHz frequency.
  • NIMS Compliance Training for key Central Office Staff – (IS100, IS200 and IS700).
  • NIMS Compliance Training for School-based Administrators – (IS100, IS362 and IS700).
  • Drug detection canine added to police department compliments of the Cherokee County Sheriff Office.

2005-2006 School Year

  • Comprehensive independent review of School District’s Safety Protocols conducted by Ken Trump, National School Safety and Security Services, Inc. with key findings:
  • Leadership and resources provided by the Superintendent and School Board for school safety, security and emergency preparedness, as indicated by the creation of the School Police Department and for advancing and professionalizing school police services.
  • The wise and proactive investment by the school district for school safety-related strategies and equipment, including police officers, school nurses, communications equipment, prevention programs, defibrillators, professional development and other efforts to prevent injuries and loss of life. Nationally, these steps and investments typically only happen after tragic, high-profile incidents have already occurred.
  • The Cherokee County Contingency Plan for Critical Incident Response and the school-centered Emergency Management and Recovery Manual both appear to be very comprehensive documents that conform to nationally recognized standards.
  • The PASS parent training program is a comprehensive program and should be supported widely.
  • The relationship between the school district and the County Emergency Management Agency is excellent, as exemplified by an assigned station and role in the county emergency plan.
  • The commitment of the district’s Transportation Department to ongoing professional development for bus drivers is impressive and the consultants are unaware of any other school district in the country that can match the district in providing enough buses in 30 minutes to evacuate any school in the county.
  • Proactive grant seeking efforts. Cherokee County School District was one of a small, select group of districts to receive federal grant funding for emergency preparedness planning, providing opportunities to exercise plans and work with professionals in the field of school safety.

2004-2005 School Year

  • Build-out of intrusion alarm systems is completed.
  • Systemic (annual) review of School Safety Plans continues.
  • Parental Awareness for Safe Schools (P.A.S.S.) Program begins.
  • Federal Emergency Response Crisis Management Grant awarded to School District to enhance Emergency Response Protocols.
  • Emergency Management and Recovery Manual created for schools as part of ERCM grant.

2003-2004 School Year

  • Build-out of intrusion alarm systems continues.
  • Systemic (annual) review of School Safety Plans continues.

2002-2003 School Year

  • Digital CCTV systems installed in middle schools.
  • Build-out of intrusion alarm systems continues.
  • Systemic (annual) review of School Safety Plans continues.

2001-2002 School Year

  • Digital CCTV systems are installed in high schools.
  • Terrorist attacks prompts review of system-wide protocols.
  • Build-out of intrusion alarm systems continues.
  • Systemic (annual) review of School Safety Plans continues.

2000-2001 School Year

  • Identification Badges required for all School District staff
  • Bi-lingual speakers list created.
  • School District Reunification Team created.
  • Systemic Review of all School Safety Plans begins to ensure compliance with state law.
  • All School Safety Plans submitted to Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and found to be in compliance with O.C.G.A. 20-2-1185.
  • Five-year plan to install intrusion alarm systems in every school begins.
  • To ensure consistency and accountability, police department is charged by Superintendent of Schools to investigate, and report findings related to all allegations of employee misconduct to the Ad Hoc Professional Standards Committee.
  • Allegations of employee misconduct are assessed to determine need for joint investigation related to criminal matters.

1999

February 1999 – Dr. Frank R. Petruzielo appointed Superintendent of Schools by the School Board.

March 1999 – Board approval of Superintendent’s recommendation to establish CCSD Police Department and to employ Mark E. Kissel as School District’s Chief of Police.

March 1999 – Assessment of major safety and security issues and challenges facing the School District completed by Chief of Police.

April 1999 – Upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, the School Board approved a Resolution establishing the CCSD School Police Department, pursuant to O.C.G.A. 20-8-2.

Key Considerations:

  • Highly qualified and certified police officers will be hired following a comprehensive background check… including medical, drug screen, psychological assessment and polygraph.
    Officers will be armed, consistent with state law and established police department policies.
  • Schools will be viewed as “communities” or “neighborhoods” whereby:
  • Officers will build strong relationships with school-based administrators and work closely with them to ensure that the District’s Major System Priority of providing a safe and secure environment is sustained.
    Officers will interact with staff, students and parents to foster mutual respect and get to know the students.
  • Officers will be assigned to each high school and middle school, with collateral responsibilities to elementary schools within Innovation Zones.
  • Clearly defined protocols will be established to ensure that the administrative and legal rights of students, parents and staff are not infringed upon by school-based staff or police officers.
  • Comprehensive assessment of all high schools conducted in cooperation with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency… following the tragic occurrence at Columbine High School (Colorado).

May 1999 – Countywide Contingency Plan for Critical Incident Response at County Schools developed by CCSD Police Department in cooperation with Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and other local and state public safety Agencies… and subsequently approved by the Superintendent of Schools.

June 1999 – Comprehensive background investigations completed for all current (and future) school police employees; comprehensive training takes place.

September 1999 – Upon recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools, Board of Education authorized weapons for carry by School District police officers.