POLICE Magazine

FEB 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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POLICEMAG.COM 41 ty without interfering with the school evacuation. To let loved ones know where to go in the first place, you can take advan- tage of the school's process for parent notifications already in place. You can also spread the message with assis- tance from the media, including radio and television stations reporting on the incident. While parents are waiting for information, it's a good idea to have a law enforcement spokesperson on hand at their location or one nearby to deliver updates about what to expect and what is happening as quickly as possible while ensuring accuracy. ese steps help calm the students' loved ones, who are already fearing the worst. "Our imagination is our worst en- emy. at's what drives our emotion. So providing info as quickly and accurate- ly as you can is important," says Eells. Some of the most important informa- tion families can receive is about wheth- er their children are uninjured, injured, or deceased, so it's essential that this be accurate. It's best for school staff to be involved in the collection and dissemi- nation of this information because they know the families and students best and have school rosters that they can refer to, Eells points out. If students are physically uninjured and just need to be reconnected with their families once they have been in- terviewed, the process is relatively sim- ple, especially with the help of school personnel. But to help ease the psycho- logical and emotional toll on them, it's a good idea to bring counselors who work for law enforcement agencies and victim advocates to the scene so they can talk to the families about resources available to them and their children in the days fol- lowing the incident. Similar resources should be provided to the families of students who have been injured or are deceased. In addition, pro- vide these family members with trans- portation from the scene so they aren't driving in an emotional state. "e event is more likely to unfold in the safest manner if it's been made clear through preplanning, practice, and ef- fective communication, exactly where the rally points and evacuation places are," says Eells. And if everyone under- stands their roles and why they need to follow certain procedures, they're more likely to follow them in the event of an emergency. TRAIN TO WIN Bring the best in law enforcement training to your agency: (630) 399-1645 Winning is much more than surviving conflict. Be completely prepared for your challenges with our inspiring and world-renowned classes with Dave "JD Buck Savage" Smith, Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith, Sgt. Nancy Dowdy & team. CLASSES: The Winning Mind The Winning Mind for Women Career & Officer Survival for Dispatchers The Winning Edge Developing Successful Staff Skills Leadership for Optimal Performance OUTSMART THE DARK. High-Performance Tactical Lighting

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