Police Updating Plans in Wake of School Shooting
'Hide them,' Doylestown Borough Police Chief says, outlining ways to protect children from a shooter, and 'defend them, if you have to.'
As the nation continues to mourn the murders of 20 children and six staff members at a Connecticut school, Doylestown Borough Police are refreshing their school response plans.
The department on Monday said it is in the process of updaing information about all of the schools in the borough, including floor plans, schematics and evacuation routes.
"We work closely with the school district," Police Chief Jim Donnelly said Monday night. "The computers in the (police) cars will have the floor plans, so when we pull up to a school, we know what room we're looking at."
The department also plans to add day care centers and private kindergartens in the borough to its list of schools, Donnelly said. Officers started on Monday visiting the five or six centers in the borough, obtaining information on the school's layout and helping school officials there develop response plans.
Donnelly said he has directed his officers to spend as much available time as possible near the borough's schools
"You’ll see police cars sitting around in the front of schools and in the rear of schools, on a random basis," the chief said. "If (the officers) have to write a report, go sit by the school and write the report. Just to have a police presence there."
Meanwhile, Central Bucks School District superintendent Dr. Rod Green said Monday that school principals are reviewing their schools' safety and security measures.
"Each building has a safety/security team which will be meeting to discuss protocols and possible improvements to our security," Green said in a note to district parents and staff.
Besides updating response plans, the police department also posted advice on what to do if such a danger threatened children in Doylestown.
Donnelly elaborated on that advice Monday night.
The first action to take would be to evacuate to a safe area, he said. If that isn't possible, two more options are available.
"Hide them, which they did in Sandy Hook," the chief said, referring to the teachers who saved childrens' lives by hiding them in cabinets and closets. "And the final thing is defend them, if you have to."
EVACUATE (if possible)
-Have an escape route and plan in mind.
-Leave your belongings behind.
-Keep your hands visible and open palms facing forward.
-Follow instructions of police officers.
-Have a designated meeting point and knowledge of everyone who is present.
-If you are in an office, stay there.
-If you are in a hallway, lobby, etc., get into a room.
-Lock and barricade the door with large items (i.e. desks, file cabinets) If the door cannot be locked or barricaded, lay on your back with your feet up against the door to use your body weight as a barricade.
-Get as low as possible, lay on the floor.
-Silence all electronic devices.
-Remain quiet. Remain calm.
-Dial 911, if possible, to alert police of location, physical description, and type of weapon used by shooter.
-If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen.
As a LAST RESORT and ONLY when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you to incapacitate him/her. Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.