Editor’s Note: Police Sgt. Michael Glassberg submitted the following guest column in the wake of last week’s tragedy.
As we give pause to remember the victims in the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the Hopkins Police Department feels that it is important to let the community know about the partnership that exists between our agency and the local schools.
For the past several years, the Hopkins Police Department and the Hopkins School District have planned, practiced and reviewed emergency plans, including school shootings and other types of threats. These plans are reviewed at least annually and Hopkins police officers continually go through training on how to respond to these events. This training includes, but is not limited to, active shooter control and identifying potential threats toward the school before they are acted upon. The Hopkins Police Department is in regular contact with our school district regarding the safety of the students and staff.
In the fall of 2010, a large scale school drill was conducted at Eisenhower Elementary. The drill involved what is known as an “active shooter.” This drill was planned out months in advance and heavily critiqued after it was completed. The drill was successful and provided invaluable insight for both the police department and the school district in the event that a real threat occurred.
The Hopkins Police Department maintains building plans of each school building in the city and feels prepared to assist in the event of a potential threat. Obviously, we hope that such a tragedy will never occur again. However, the police department and the school district will continue to partner up and be ready. We have trained and planned for all types of emergency events in the community in a coordinated effort with The Hopkins Fire Department, neighboring jurisdictions and EMS.
In the event that a citizen hears of a threat or potential threat against one of schools, they are asked to call 911 immediately. The police department takes these threats very seriously and has measures in effect to evaluate each one of them on an individual basis.
Please have a safe and happy holiday season.