InterMountain ESD has collaborated with local law enforcement and regional school districts to host an event focusing on school security. IMESD serves districts in the four counties of Baker, Morrow, Umatilla and Union.
The agency has partnered with law enforcement officials in those counties to present a School Security Summit on Aug. 8 from 9-1:30 p.m. at the Pendleton Convention Center.
The summit was created partly in response to the mass shootings recently in the country, including the Uvalde, Texas, tragedy. However, Dr. Mark Mulvihill, IMESD superintendent, said anytime is a good time to review safety protocols for schools and to strengthen collaboration between districts and the law enforcement agencies that serve them. “Over the past several decades, school district and law enforcement officials spent extensive time developing school safety plans. However, they can always be updated and improved to ensure safe learning environments. “
“We’ve focused heavily on pandemic safety over the past two years. It is clear we need to focus once again on our active-shooter protocols after Uvalde,” Mulvihill said.
Chuck Byram, chief of the Pendleton Police Department, reiterated the importance of law enforcement agencies and school districts continuing to work together on security in schools. “The importance of collaboration between law enforcement, school districts and many other stakeholders cannot be overstated. The safety of our children, in our schools and in our communities, is our top priority. It takes all of us working and training together to ensure we have effective response plans, as well as effective measures in place to prevent incidents before they occur,” Byram said.
In 2016, IMESD led a region-wide effort to encourage all school districts in the area to adopt the same security terminology (from the i love u guys foundation) so that in the event of an emergency, school administrators and law enforcement officers could better communicate. At that time, security audits were completed at many of the region’s schools by the Pendleton Police Department. “In addition to improving physical security at schools, at that time we also really focused on building relationships between schools and the officers who would be responding to situations at those schools,” Mulvihill said.
For more information about the summit, email Mulvihill at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on terminology, go online.