EAST BRIDGEWATER — On Friday, September 28, Police Chief Scott Allen and members of the East Bridgewater Police Department, Fire Chief Timothy Harhen, Superintendent Liz Legault and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Gina Williams hosted a collaborative school safety training session with members from both public safety departments along with the school district teachers and staff.
The School District and Police Department recently signed onto the ALICE Active Shooter/Critical Incident program. ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate, is a program which increases students’, teachers’, staff members’ odds of survival during a critical incident.
ALICE Training provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to ensure their survival and minimize the loss of life in the event of an aggressive intruder. Unlike conventional lockdown, ALICE Training empowers Police, Schools, Healthcare Facilities, Higher Education, Businesses, Government and Houses of Worship to participate in their own survival and lead others to safety.
This past summer, Chief Allen, members of his command staff and School Resource Officers met with Superintendent Legault, Dr. Williams and the school principals to review existing emergency response plans and collectively determine that the ALICE program offered a high quality, national standard of care solution.
On Friday, during an school professional development day, a team of police officers and Dr. Williams completed a 45 minute presentation to all school teachers and staff on the ALICE program, followed by an hour of scenario-based training. All teachers and police officers had previously completed an ALICE training webinar. During Friday’s training, Dr. Williams and EBPD Sgt. Michael McLaughlin led the presentation at each school. Superintendent Legault, alongside Chiefs Allen and Harhen, introduced the training to the teachers and staff.
Following the presentation, all teachers and staff then underwent in-person skills training with various critical incident scenarios presented to them by a team of trained officers. EBPD Sgt. Thomas Flint led the scenario training, working alongside School Resource Officers Tallitha Connor, Cecelia Cacciatore and other members of the department.
Teachers and staff worked as teams within classrooms, presented with various examples of critical incidents which, based on the ALICE principles, empowers the teachers and staff to determine the strategy that best allows for them and the students to safety. Police Officers role-played an armed intruder, using a Nerf gun, while all teachers and staff were equipped with safety eye goggles.
As the officer role player entered a classroom or attempted to enter a classroom, based upon their training, the groups of teachers and staff had to choose from one of the ALICE options, Lockdown, Evacuate or Counter. The training was well received by all three East Bridgewater Schools and staff and plans are already being made for an additional training session in November.
To view a video link of the training, including interviews of the Police and School Administrators, click HERE