Burlington police attend National School Safety Symposium – News – Burlington Union – Burlington, MA – Wicked Local

Burlington police officers Lt. Kevin Cooney and Vito Costa, an alternate school resource officer at Burlington Public Schools, attended a National School Safety Symposium July 7-10 in Thornton, Colorado.

The symposium began with a visit to the Columbine Memorial and featured presentations on topics including creating safe schools, building a safe school climate based on the U.S. Secret Service’s criteria, threat assessment inside a large district, proactive prevention steps school communities can take and healing and moving on after a tragedy.

Speakers at the symposium included survivors of school shootings, parents of school shooting victims, a hostage negotiator, a threat assessment coordinator, law enforcement representatives and other school safety professionals.

The symposium was hosted by The I Love U Guys Foundation, an organization that advances school safety by connecting school administrators with law enforcement officials to handle critical events and emergencies. The organization was founded by John-Michael Keyes, whose daughter Emily was fatally shot in the Platte Canyon High School shooting in Colorado. Emily’s final text to her father before being killed was, “i love u guys.”

“School safety is of the utmost importance, and hearing from experts on varying prevention initiatives and response techniques is incredibly valuable as we continue to evaluate, adjust and improve our own school safety plans,” said Michael Kent, Burlington police chief. “We’re fortunate and thankful to have had the opportunity to send our officers to this training.”

This is the fourth year the Burlington Police Department has sent officers to the training.

The symposium also included a full day workshop, during which officers were trained in the Standard Response Protocol and the Standard Reunification Method. Both procedures were crafted by the I Love U Guys Foundation.

Standard Response Protocol offers four action based responses for schools to take in the event of an emergency: lockout, lockdown, evacuate and shelter. The Standard Reunification Method is a procedure that gives educators the tools to ensure that students are reunited with a parent or guardian in the event of an emergency.

“The founders and speakers of the Standard Response Protocol Symposium went through unimaginable tragedy, some as directly affected parents and some as responding officers,” said Costa. “These experiences, along with countless years of research, were then turned into a tool for school administrators and law enforcement to use to keep our communities protected. “

After Burlington police attended the 2016 school safety symposium, Kent and Superintendent Dr. Eric Conti transitioned the Burlington Public School District to implement Standard Response Protocol in fall 2016 to address any incidents or threats to student safety.

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