POLICE Magazine

MAY 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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6 5 photo ID, don't call the 911 center, don't call the school system, and don't go to the school, because doing these things can delay or affect police response." PUSHING PARENT NOTIFICATIONS Most school districts have invested in emergency notification systems that allow them to quickly disseminate a message during an incident via phone, text, and email. e systems are very affordable and they work very well, says Dorn. However, he advises school districts to practice craing dif- ferent types of messages and sending them out so that during an actual emergency they can get messages out in minutes. He also recommends paying attention to cybersecurity. He notes there have been incidents where these web-based plat- forms have been hacked. In the Midwest, hackers infiltrated an emergency notification system and sent a message to parents stating their elementary-age children had been killed in an ac- tive shooter incident. "When we do security assessments for districts, we really push clients to include cybersecurity measures in their bud- gets," Dorn says. ere are also soware-based visitor management systems available for schools so that as people arrive an attendant can scan a driver's license to perform a quick check on who this per- son is and what if any warrants or arrests exist for this person. Dorn recommends making sure these systems can be operated from a tablet computer so they can be used during the reuni- fication process. "is way schools can keep a record of who is picking up a child from the reunification site," he says. "It eliminates issues of a non-custodial parent, for instance, taking advantage of the situation to take off with his or her child." PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE All the preplanning in the world is for naught if the processes and procedures in place do not work as intended. For this rea- son, Dorn recommends conducting regular drills, especially for the family reunification process. He explains, "A lot of emphasis is put on active shooter exer- cises, and these are important, but you really need to drill and exercise on the family reunification process. at's the hard- est part of responding to a crisis event, where parents perceive students and family members are at risk. It can dramatically impact a clearing operation when there are a lot of folks forcing their way on campus. So drilling, testing, and practicing reuni- fication procedures is incredibly important." n Ronnie Wendt is a freelance writer based in Waukesha, Wiscon- sin. She has been writing about law enforcement since 1995. PROVEN IN THE LINE OF DUTY TACTICAL SOLUTIONS tactical.ringpower.com 904-494-1139 | justin.rutherford@ringpower.com C R I T ICA L I NC I D E N T R E S P O N S E | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | 15

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