Kiwanis, KSP talk school safety

The nation is still reeling from the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida. National debate continues to circulate regarding what actions can be taken and what areas are best to focus on to make sure such an event never happens again. The Commonwealth of Kentucky is no different. More still, Bell County is no different. Action has been taken by local government and community leaders to keep the the safety of our schools a topmost priority.

Recently, the local Kiwanis Club held a meeting where they invited Kentucky State Police Det. Josh Howard and Commander Ryan Catron to speak on the exercises and steps law enforcement in taking to make the schools safer for everybody.

Dirk Wiley spoke to the club and introduced Howard and Catron.

“This is an incredibly important topic. These tend to be statistically infrequent but recurring events. From a public safety standpoint that makes them some of the hardest ones to solve…we can’t ignore them because they’re are our kids. And Kiwanis is nothing if not about children.”

Wiley went on to suggest that a larger, more overhead view of the issue be the focus of the meeting and that the individual talking points and personal politics to be left at the wayside for the time being.

Howard spoke to the audience about the various aspects of the kind of training exercises school staff and faculty go through if an active shooter situation were to arise.

The Active Shooter Program that Post 10 provides has been taught to virtually every school in the Post 10 district, which Howard cites as around 50-60 schools. They are currently working on getting to every single school in the district. The program is not only applicable for schools, but for businesses and buildings such as hospitals, banks, etc.

The main goal of the program is to teach the proper ways on how to react if the situation were to arise. There are specific do’s and don’ts that can best ensure safety.

“We want the people to know and the public to know that ‘hey, if you come into our building or you come into our school, you’re going to be facing some kind of resistance,” said Howard.

He made it clear that this is merely training taught by law enforcement that can deter and discourage someone meaning to do harm. The KSP and local schools will continue to build relationships with each other and refine safety to ensure the students and staff of each school in their jurisdiction.