Posted Date: 09/29/2017
Ark City Police Officers were at Ark City High School Thursday to lead teachers through a series of armed intruder drills. The drills served as a refresher to the ALICE training provided by the police department and offered teachers the opportunity to plan and practice specific responses.
ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. It’s essentially a response model that gives a set of options to consider during an active intruder situation.
“It used to be expected that teachers and students would just turn the lights off and huddle together in a corner of the classroom,” ACPD Captain Mark McCaslin said. “Now, we want everyone to know they have options and empower them to choose the safest response.”
The drill gave teachers the opportunity to hear blank rounds being fired throughout the school and then practice locking down, barricading doors, evacuating, and even engaging the intruder.
McCaslin said he knows teachers often think of students as their own and are willing to do what it takes to protect them.
“I feel like the drill went really well; everyone was attentive, engaged, and we were pleased with how well teachers responded,” McCaslin said. “Ultimately, we wanted to give the group experience and help them gain confidence.”
Dr. Ron Ballard, USD 470 Superintendent, said the safety of students and staff is the district’s top priority and he appreciates the ACPD’s commitment to that as well.
“We appreciate the officers’ willingness to work with our staff and students to create a safe learning environment,” Ballard said. “We have a great partnership that really benefits our kids and the community as a whole.”