An important message from Chief Dan Flynn regarding School Safety:
The recent upsurge in threats and violence against groups of students, and most specifically against students in a Parkland Florida high school, has been deeply distressing to all of us in the public safety community. A tragedy of that magnitude causes us to engage in some self-reflection and ask – how safe are Marietta’s schools? Here in Marietta we have sixteen public and five private schools and the Marietta Police Department (MPD) is the principal local law enforcement agency responsible for emergency response to each. There are a total four MPD School Resource officers assigned to Marietta High School and Middle School. We fully accept our responsibility and duty to the greatest extent possible, to partner with each of them to help maintain safe secure learning environments.
In light of the recent attack against students in Florida, we have conducted a review of the public safety services the Marietta Police Department offers to all Marietta Schools and colleges. To that end, following is a synopsis of school safety initiatives presently available from the Marietta Police Department:
1. Campus Violence Prevention Policy: A template for a Campus Violence Prevention Policy designed by the Marietta Police Department (in light of recent events) was sent to all school administrators operating within the city. It has been given as a guide and can be modified to suit individual school preferences. We recommend that schools develop a written protocol for addressing threats against groups in school(s).
2. Training: The Marietta Police Department has trained over 15,000 of our residents in a program entitled Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event (CRASE) and we recently began partnering with the WellStar system to co-teach a related program entitled “Stop the Bleed.” We have now combined the two nationally-certified programs into one appropriately entitled “What You Do Matters” which certified MPD instructors will schedule and present this program to any Marietta school upon request.
3. School Physical Environment Target Hardening - The MPD has several officers certified in a process entitled Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). The process entails extensive surveys of school security features, with photos and a series of confidential recommendations designed to reduce the opportunities for crime. They are available to school administrators, free of charge upon request.
4. School Threat Vulnerability Assessments – The MPD has several officers certified in conducting threat vulnerability assessments of schools. Threat vulnerability assessments are different than CPTED inspections insofar as threat assessors examine schools in terms of tactics that have historically been used in school attacks. Following each tactical inspection, the officers generate extensive confidential reports which include photos and detailed recommendations for improved security measures in each school. School Threat Vulnerability Assessments are offered free of charge to any school in Marietta upon request.
5. Marietta P.D. Officer Response to Active Shooter Event Training – Continuous ongoing annual training programs for Marietta Officers include semi-annual ALERT training for all officers which always includes response current police standards for active shooter events. In addition, each year the department conducts at least one table top training exercise and one full-scale (practical) training exercise for response to active shooter events at schools or colleges. MPD records include curricula and rosters of officers for each training event.
In the first quarter of 2018, MPD will roll out a new certified training program entitled External Response to Active Shooter Events (ERASE). ERASE is designed to teach officers response protocols for outdoor active shooter events (like Las Vegas).
6. Summary - In summary, the MPD addresses the issue of school security with a comprehensive list of programs and initiatives that include physical target-hardening of schools, recommendations for internal school violence prevention, training of students, parents and faculty in recommended civilian responses to active and mitigation to active shooter events and continuous training of police officers to state-of-the-art police response protocols.
Chief Dan Flynn
Marietta Police Department