|
|
Examiner
  • Calming fears

  • Ongoing and established relationships between law enforcement and school districts are in place for cooperative emergency planning, Independence Police Chief Tom Dailey said Wednesday afternoon.

    • email print
  • Ongoing and established relationships between law enforcement and school districts are in place for cooperative emergency planning, Independence Police Chief Tom Dailey said Wednesday afternoon.
    Without releasing specific details because of security reasons, Dailey told reporters in a news conference that measures are in place to protect the safety of students and staff at area schools in light of last Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newport, Conn., the second deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history behind the Virginia Tech University shooting in 2007.
    Since Friday’s shooting in which Adam Lanza killed 26 Sandy Hook students and staff members before taking his own life, several Midwestern law enforcement officials also have died by gunfire, including two Topeka, Kan., police officers, and a sheriff’s deputy near Mineral Point, Mo.
    “We want to send the message that there is zero tolerance for unacceptable behavior and threats in or toward our schools and other gathering places,” Dailey said. “There are extraordinary security measures in place to address crime concerns. We have and will continue to identify and arrest anyone making threats, real or otherwise, or taking other actions meant to create fear and chaos.”
    Law enforcement officials from Independence, Blue Springs, Raytown, Fort Osage, Lee’s Summit, Sugar Creek, Kansas City, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and the FBI, as well as area school district representatives, were in attendance.
    “With all of the recent events, we just want to ensure that our citizens know that everybody up here is on the same page,” Dailey said. “We share the same conviction, the same state of preparedness, of readiness, and these threats or actions will not be tolerated.”
    In a mid-day news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C., President Obama said he had asked Vice President Joe Biden to lead an effort with cabinet members and outside organizations to come up with “a set of concrete proposals” within weeks that would address gun control reform.
    “We’re going to need to work on making access to mental health care at least as easy as access to a gun,” Obama said. “We’re going to need to look more closely at a culture that all too often glorifies guns and violence. And any actions we must take must begin inside the home and inside our hearts.
    “But the fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence doesn’t mean we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence.”
    School districts and local law enforcement agencies have worked together for years in developing emergency preparedness plans, undergoing extensive training to ensure students and staff, as well as anyone who walks into a district facility, are kept safe, Independence School District Superintendent Jim Hinson said.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Sometimes, those things aren’t viewed by the public, and that’s OK,” he said.
    As a country, Hinson said, parents and guardians should reflect upon material that children are exposed to in relation to the Sandy Hook shooting.
    “Times have changed. As we really look at what caused the tragedy at Sandy Hook, I don’t know if we’ll ever know that answer,” Hinson said. “But I think during these difficult times, as educators, we look at what’s going on in the lives of our children, and the adults, as well – and, as a society, we need to stop and reflect on what’s going on.”
     
      • calendar