Beatrice police officers gave a public presentation Wednesday aiming to keep children and families safe.
School Resource Officers Zac Lauenstein and Natasha Nesbitt offered the training on Standard Response Protocol at Beatrice High School in the Hevelone Center. Both officers had attended training in Aurora, Colo. during the past summer near the site of the Columbine High School and memorial.
The training was developed by the I Love U Guys Foundation. The foundation was started in 2006 by Ellen and John-Michael Keyes after their daughter, Emily Keyes, was killed in a school shooting. The Keyes’ family started working with schools and law enforcement following her death to improve school safety.
The Standard Response Protocol is used throughout the nation and was adopted by Beatrice Public Schools.
“It’s a common language that we can use to communicate in the event of an emergency,” said Lauenstein. “Crisis isn’t a choice. Response is.”
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Lauenstein explained there are five specific actions that can be performed during an incident in SRP. The action is labeled and specific directions follow.
· Hold: “In your Classroom or Area”
· Secure: “Get Inside. Lock outside doors”
· Lockdown: “Locks, Lights, Out of Sight”
· Evacuate: “To a Location”
· Shelter: “State Hazard and Safety Strategy”
These directive are used when there is an emergency or threat outside of or near the school, in weather emergencies and if there were a threat in the school.
Officers Lauenstein and Nesbitt have provided training to all law enforcement and emergency personnel in the community.
“One of the most important things for parents to remember is that it is not safe for them to come to the school in an emergency situation to pick up their children,” said Lauenstein. "I know that’s hard, but we need emergency personnel to be able to get to the school.
“It’s important that parents and community know that we have a plan. We all have the same goal of keeping everyone safe.”
Instructions in emergency situations are sent by the school by text, email and phone messages.
Drills are regularly done at all of the schools for each type of event.
On Thursday morning, the Beatrice High School with the cooperation of the Beatrice Police Department, conducted a lockdown drill.
“Our students and staff did a great job following directions, following protocols and remaining calm and quiet,” said Jason Sutter, BHS Principal.
“Drills are important,” said Nesbitt. “Talk to your students about this experience and reiterate the importance of continuing to take drills seriously to be as prepared as possible.