Building Community Partnership
By Lawrence Fernandez, Safety and Security Manager
Madera Unified School District and Madera Police Department continue to build and develop a strong working partnership to ensure a save learning environment for all students and staff. This close Partnership has lead to the First ever Large-scale Multi-Agency Emergency / Active Shooter training. This was a collaboration between the Madera Police Department and the Madera Unified School District, to ensure that we are prepared should an emergency occur.
The training consisted of a two-hour PowerPoint™ presentation conducted by Lt. Arnold from MPD. Law enforcement participants and First responders conducted tactical training while other participants attended the PowerPoint™ presentation regarding the realities of emergency situations, and the roles different people commonly take during those events. The second portion of the training consisted of 3 drills:
- Seek out and overcome active Shooter (Law Enforcement)
- Rapid Medical Response: Performed by the Rescue Task Force (RTF) consisting of Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
- Quick Reaction Drill with Multiple Suspects
The training included all members of the Madera Police Department, from Patrol Officers, the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), and the Detective Unit. Other agencies also involved in the training included the California Highway Patrol, Madera Fire Department, Cal Fire and Local Paramedics. Safety Officers, some MUSD staff members and students took part in the training. It is truly rare to have such a large scale, joint training exercise, but we feel this will make our community better prepared and ultimately safer in the event we suffer a large scale emergency. We would like to thank Madera Police Dept. Chief Lawson, Lt. Arnold, Sgt. McCombs for taking on the ambitious project and all other agencies that took part in this essential training.
Safety & Security Concerns / Critical Threat Assessments
Due to the rise in violent incidents that have taken place on school campus across the nation, the Madera Unified School District collaborated with the Madera Police Dept. and conducted critical threat assessments (CTA) of school campuses in MUSD. Initially, specific campuses were assessed based on national trends. These Threat Assessments were performed by a Member of the Madera Police Dept. SWAT Sgt., Madera School Resource Officer, Safety and Security Manager, as well as various site Administrators.
The focus of the Critical Threat Assessments was to uncover weaknesses and vulnerabilities observed at specific school sites, regarding Safety and Security. After the assessments were completed, measures were put into place to address the identified safety concerns. Some of the safety improvements included the installation of Lock Blok’s in every classroom, EMLock/Magnetic lock systems, Armorcoat safety film and the Titan emergency two way communication platform, which was rolled out to all MUSD school sites.
The Madera Unified School District and the Madera Police Dept. have worked together to provide MPD Motor units with an on-campus police substation at both MHS and MSHS. This will increase on-campus MPD officer presence, provide officers several workstations, at each school site, allowing them to carry out administrative tasks such as writing reports and conduct other work-related duties. Students have expressed feeling much safer, knowing an officer is nearby, on campus.