Three Braintree Police Department officers and two members of the school department attended two day training on how to save lives in the event of a school shooting, hosted by Norfolk DA Michael Morrissey last week.
“The strict lockdown model has become almost a default protocol to any violent intruder incident,” Morrissey said. “But there is a growing conversation nationally whether a more flexible response, including evacuating the building, barricading the doors and other actions, might not save lives. We wanted to bring Norfolk County schools and police into that conversation, so that they can weigh all of the options available to keep their students safe.”
The Feb. 5 and 6 training was provided by Response Options, a Texas-based school safety firm presented the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) Program, developed by Greg and Lisa Crane - Greg a former SWAT police officer and Lisa a school principal.
Braintree Police Officers Tim Cahoon, Michael Want and Dick Seibert, plus East Middle School assistant principal Andrew Curran and Nancy Moynihan from the high school, joined more than 100 others from across the county. Braintree School Committee member David Ringius, an asisstant district attorney, was also in attendance.
The classroom training was held in donated seminar space at the headquarters of the Bank of Canton; live-action demonstration was held in the now-vacant Avery School in Dedham. The classroom training included an analysis of 25 years of school shooting incidents, and which actions helped end the incidents more quickly with fewer lives lost, and which protocols appeared to be counter-productive.
“The District Attorney’s Office hosted a similar training the month before the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut last year, but obviously that event has put a new focus on the issue,” said Morrissey, who used drug forfeiture money to finance the training. “Our towns are all looking at their safety protocols. I think it is important that as we do that, we base our decisions on solid research, lessons learned from previous incidents, and the widest array of information we can collect.”
Morrissey said he hopes the information provided can help towns with future planning. “Every community should have a plan, but that plan must be developed at the local level, with input from the police and school community,” he said.
–Norfolk County District Attorney's Office
UPDATE: David Ringius, also of Braintree, was in attendance as well.