In light of the December 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT school officials across the country are examining their safety plans and procedures.
Rancho Santa Margarita Chief of Police Lt. Brian Schmutz provided an opportunity for RSM school principals to gather and learn more about the Newtown event and what resources OCSD can offer to make an active shooter event less likely.
Highlighted programs were OCSD's School Mobile Assessment Resource Team (SMART) and Capistrano Unified School District's Deny Access, Evade or Engage program (DEE, still under review by CUSD.) SMART assesses threats they receive to determine how credible they are, and deputies follow-up with students who have been investigated for the following year to ensure they remain non-threatening.
RSM Child Safety Deputy Clay Cranford presented a detailed outline of the Newtown event, focusing on specific tactics that can be taken in schools to make an event like it less likely. He did point out that statistically, school is one of the safest places for children but there are measures that can be taken to make it even safer.
"This is tough to hear," Lt. Schmutz said following Dep. Cranford's presentation, "but its important that we gather the information we can and do our best to make our schools and community as safe as they can be."