District, Township Partner on School Safety Training May 25 Simulation at Hopewell Elementary Helps Local Responders, Schools Prepare

District, Township Partner on School Safety Training May 25

Lakota Local Schools and West Chester Township work collaboratively year-round in all aspects of protecting the schools in our community. Resource officers are in the schools daily, interacting with staff and students to help enforce safety policies and procedures and proactively build relationships based on respect and open dialogue, all with the goal of preventing any compromise to student safety.

On Wednesday, May 25, West Chester Township and Lakota Local Schools will collaborate for an intensive training exercise to help local responders and school staff prepare for a potential “active shooter” scenario in a school building.

“The protection of the community is the most critical service provided by West Chester Township, and the responsibility of protecting our youngest and most precious citizens is especially significant.” said Township Administrator Judi Boyko. “West Chester personnel actively train for all varieties of potential circumstances and next week’s training exercise will focus on one type of incident which we could face as a community.”

The details of the active shooter simulation are not being disclosed for authenticity and to gain the most realistic reactions to the circumstances as they unfold. The exercise will take place at Hopewell Elementary and hundreds of volunteers will help create the sense of chaos that would most certainly result under such real circumstances.

“The safety and security of our students, staff and visitors is paramount, which is why the strong partnership we’ve built with both townships is so critical,” said Lakota Superintendent Dr. Karen Mantia. “We maintain the highest level of trust and respect for our local responders. It takes that kind of collaboration and an exercise of this magnitude to help ensure all the key players are well-equipped and trained to handle a worst case scenario in our schools.”

West Chester police and fire personnel will be deployed in response to the simulation and residents should not be alarmed by the presence of emergency response vehicles at Hopewell Elementary.