In the wake of the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Governor Mary Fallin is encouraging school officials and law enforcement officers to take advantage of security training seminars offered by the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security.
"Preparing for the worst is the best way to save lives," Fallin said. "All of us want to do everything we can to keep Oklahoma's children and schools safe. As school administrators evaluate their emergency response plans and campus security, I want to encourage them to take advantage of the resources and seminars offered by the Oklahoma Department of Homeland Security."
At the seminars, Oklahoma homeland security officials cover a wide variety of topics with school officials, including the importance of developing, updating and exercising an emergency response plan. Additionally, the training includes instruction for school officials on how to conduct a security survey to help identify and correct any potential security gaps.
The two-day seminars are provided at no cost and held at various locations around the state. Local law enforcement officials are invited to attend with school officials in order to help coordinate in the event of an emergency. In the last three years, the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security has trained approximately 400 school officials representing more than 150 school districts across the state. Security seminars will be held again in 2013. To sign-up, school officials should contact the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security at (405) 425-7296 or through the agency's Web site at www.ok.gov/homeland.
"The seminars we offer have helped school officials and law enforcement officers develop policies that maximize school safety. I encourage every school to work with us to evaluate their security protocols and emergency response policies to see how we can create a safer environment for our children," said Kim Edd Carter, director of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security.
Additionally, the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and the Oklahoma Council for Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) have partnered to provide law enforcement officers rapid response training to be utilized in active shooter situations that might occur in schools, theaters, shopping malls, or even churches.
"The goal of this training is to standardize the response efforts across all law enforcement agencies, so that if officers from different departments respond to the same incident, they all know how to quickly come together as a team and end the violence as soon as possible," Carter said.
Law enforcement agencies wanting to provide the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) courses to their officers should contact CLEET at (405) 239-5100 or through the agency's Web site at www.ok.gov/cleet.