By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -
Schools are constantly reviewing and updating their security plans and now schools in Prairie Village have some extra help.
Briarwood Elementary in Prairie Village was on full lockdown mode Thursday, but it was all just a drill. It was part of a first-time collaboration between police and faculty so everyone is on the same page in case a threat does arise.
The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy left 20 children, along with six others, dead after police said a lone gunman made his way into the Connecticut elementary school and opened fire.
"Across the country we have seen the incidents in small towns. It can happen anywhere and this is just our effort to make sure the schools are as safe as they can be," said Capt. Tim Schwartzkopf with the Prairie Village Police Department.
The tragedy is the motivating force behind Thursday's lockdown drill. School staff practice various scenarios once a month but, for the first time, Prairie Village police officers joined in.
The goal of Thursday's lockdown was to review the school's policy and procedures to make sure they have a solid responsive plan.
"It also gives our officers a chance to come into the building, learn about the building layout. In the event there is an emergency or crisis, they have a better idea of what the building looks like," Schwartzkopf said.
Briarwood Principal Dr. Kent Peach prides himself on getting to know his students and considers their safety his top priority.
"We have their treasure of their life that we are granted custody of each day. I hope it's a reassurance and that's the feedback I get. They know we take our drills seriously," Peach said.
Police said the drill went off without a hitch and that school staff have a great emergency response plan in place.
If a lockdown situation ever did unfurl, parents would know right away thanks to the school district's text message alert system. It's easy to sign up - click here and go to the link on the right-hand side of the page.
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