Dearborn Public Schools along with several city and community organizations this month will again stage an emergency readiness exercise after school dismisses for the summer.
The June 19 drill will be held at O.L. Smith Middle School, 23851 Yale St., Dearborn. Residents in the area and those traveling near the school will notice police, fire and other emergency personnel on scene as part of this important exercise. The drill is expected to run from about 8:30 a.m. until noon.
Dearborn Schools has worked with Dearborn Police and Dearborn Fire officials for years on table top drills for how to respond to school emergencies. The June drill is a chance for those agencies and other community organizations to better practice how they would respond in an emergency.
“For the past several years we have worked with police and fire officials at the City of Dearborn to conduct table top exercises at several of our schools. This live exercise is the natural progression of our emergency preparedness training and will help our schools and first responders better prepare for an actual emergency situation,” said event organizer and Dearborn Public Schools Director of Safety and Security Dr. Don Ball.
Like last year, the drill will be based on a threat being made on social media and then a gunman coming and forcing his way into the school.
In addition to district staff, Dearborn Police and Dearborn Fire, including EMS, will participate in the exercise. Beaumont Hospital will use the event to review its procedures for reunifying families. Henry Ford Hospital Fairlane will participate and receive “casualties” to their emergency room.
“The number of organizations taking part in this exercise demonstrates the advantages to building strong community partnerships in our city. We especially appreciate Mayor O’Reilly’s leadership and his continued focus on keeping Dearborn, and our schools, a safe place for all,” said Dearborn Public Schools Superintendent Glenn Maleyko.
Over the years, Dearborn Public Schools has actively worked to improve school safety and create a safe school environment. The district’s schools all have locked doors where visitors must request entry during the school day. In several buildings, the office has been moved near the main door so staff can better control and assess who is entering the building. All buildings have emergency plans which are updated regularly. The district also has worked to improve school environments through long standing anti-bullying policies and programs.
A major piece to the Dearborn Public Schools safety plan is the strong partnership with the Dearborn Police Department. With direction from Mayor John B. O’Reilly, Jr., Police Chief Ronald Haddad has established a robust community policing system. Patrol officers routinely visit all Dearborn schools. For 2017-2018, officers made 4,612 school park-and-walk visits as part of their daily patrols. These routine visits allow officers to build strong relationships with the staff and students in the school and go a long way to preventing problems before they occur.
In addition, seven School Resource Officers (SRO’s) are assigned to schools in Dearborn. These highly trained officers spend their days in the schools and become part of the building culture. Working with the school’s administration, the SRO’s are highly effective in helping to identify and investigate possible threats to school safety before they reach a critical level.
“Our district has been very proactive over the years and will continue to build upon our strong partnership with the city to ensure a safe school environment for students and staff,” added Superintendent Maleyko.