Tempe law enforcement officers met with teachers and principals about school safety on Wednesday and encouraged school leaders to have an emergency plan in place.
Tempe Police Chief, Tom Ryff, encouraged schools to share their plans with officers and also recommended schools invite the police department’s tactical team to their school so those officers can get to know the layout of the building. The tactical officers would be the ones who respond to a big emergency.
Some teachers at the meeting said while their schools do have emergency plan, they never practice it with students or staff.
“We have talked about in the past — having an intruder drill. We know what to do in case of a fire, but if there’s an intruder, sites are built differently than the traditional school so why not be prepared? Why not have that notch on our belt to say, ‘Hey, we’re prepared for a fire, we’re prepared for an intruder?’” said teacher Jessica Navarro.
Those who attended the meeting will take what they learned and share it with their co-workers to be better prepared.
The meeting was planned before the shooting in Newtown, Conn., but Ryff said the shooting was another reminder of why schools need to be ready now.