Bourne Public Schools and Police Collaborate to Enhance School Safety

BOURNE – Officials at Bourne Public Schools have been working with local authorities to enhance the lockdown measures and threat response of schools in the district.

The initiative comes just weeks after a threatening phone call sent Bourne Middle School into lockdown. On October 3, the school’s principal received a phone call stating that an active shooter was inside the building.

Though the call was later found to be a hoax at best, it served as a wake-up call for the district to update its safety protocols.

“We went through a serious debriefing process with the Bourne Police Department to really look at all of our responses and understanding of the situation, if it was real,” explained Superintendent of Bourne Public Schools Steven Lamarche.

One change already put into place, for example, surrounds lockdown measures for the district’s three schools, all located on the same campus. Previously, if one of the schools went into lockdown, district officials would wait to determine if the other two schools would need to as well. That step has been eliminated. Now, the protocol states that if one school initiates a lockdown, the other two follow suit.

“Previously we talked about a small window of contemplation, but we’re going to remove that contemplation, so now once one school goes into lockdown the other two do the same,” Lamarche said.

“These events, real events, actually take minutes. They’re a matter of minutes. So, we’re not going to take 30-seconds or a minute of a four to five-minute event and contemplate if a school should be locked down, they’re all going to be locked down at this point in time.”

Communications between the district and Bourne Police Department have be under review. A new online communication system to reach the schools and community, along with other communication improvements, are being looked at. A two-way radio surveillance system was installed in the middle school in mid-October.

The Bourne Police Department also plans to conduct lockdown drills that are more realistic, giving school officials less warning as to when a drill will occur.

On November 29, the district will be hosting a public forum to further discuss school safety and the implementation of ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate) training.

“Unfortunately, in this day in age we have to go into all of this knowing that there’s a distinct possibility. We don’t have any known threats or anything that’s to our schools, but the unpredictability of human behavior at this point in time has certainly pointed to that this could happen anywhere, and we’re certainly going to take a look at that,” Lamarche said.

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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