Tempe Police, school administrators discuss school security - New York News

Tempe Police, school administrators discuss school security

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

On the same day President Obama unveiled his plan to curb gun violence, police and school leaders came together in Tempe.

They're trying to come up with their own plan to keep schools safe.

Tempe police planned today's conference three months before the Sandy Hook shootings.

Their goal is to ensure that every Tempe school has a plan in the event of an emergency -- and that includes a person on campus with a gun.

There was no sugar coating this message.

"If a person comes in and starts shooting people, do we know what to do immediately, do we know how to act without thinking about it?" said Tempe Police Commander Noah Johnson.

Tempe police talked to teachers and school administrators Wednesday about the necessity of having a plan and security on their campuses.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on December 14 have changed the tone of school security for everyone.

Police stressed planning and making schools physically more secure against intruders.

"You have to make sure your school is what we call ‘target hardened,' that you have a secure campus," says Tom Ryff, Tempe Police.

‘Target hardened' is a police term for changing security and plans at a building to make it harder for criminals to gain access and attack.

Not usually used for schools -- until now.

Planning is key, but many ideas are on the table to be looked at and perhaps implemented in the coming weeks and months.

One Tempe schoolteacher liked the idea of intruder drills at school.

"I do, and we have talked about it in the past just having an intruder drill. we know what to do in case of a fire but if there is an intruder, our sites are built differently than a traditional drill so why not have that notch on our belt," says Jessica Navarro of Pinnacle Charter School.

Everyone is waiting the outcome of the Sandy Hook investigation. It will be months more, but law enforcement and teachers believe there is much we can all learn about future school security.

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