As the school year begins, Police Chief Terence Delehanty and Fire Chief Paul E. Flanagan wish to share the scope of safety measures the Winthrop Police and Fire Departments have implemented in partnership with Winthrop Public Schools.
“As students go back to school this year, we want to assure Winthrop residents that there are a myriad of safety procedures, policies and mechanisms in place to protect students and staff,” Police Chief Delehanty said. “We are mindful of the national climate, and we have heard the ongoing concerns of our school families, students and educators. We want to assure everyone that the Winthrop Police and Fire Departments and Winthrop Public Schools have worked together tirelessly to put the highest quality modern safety measures in place. We are constantly working with the schools to better protect and serve our students and teachers.”
Thanks to funds secured in the state budget this year by House Speaker Robert DeLeo, the district has implemented several new security measures prior to the start of classes this month including upgrades to security cameras, crosswalk painting and electronic speed signs near schools. District employees will also begin threat assessment training this school year.
In partnership with the Winthrop Police and Fire Departments, Winthrop Public Schools has also developed protocols designed to protect students and staff in response to various threats, intruder situations and emergencies. These protocols are constantly assessed and updated as best practices in school safety continue to evolve and change. Recently, the district has also updated the safety protocols that are provided to school staff.
“We are fortunate to have a great partnership with Winthrop Public Schools, which has allowed us to seamlessly collaborate on the best methods and practices we can put in place to protect students in any emergency situation,” Fire Chief Flanagan said. “Student safety has been a topic on the forefront of everyone’s minds for several years, and working with the schools to create a safe environment is of the utmost importance to us all.”
Working in conjunction with the Police and Fire Departments, the school district also holds a series of lockdown drills at each building every school year. Drills will begin within the first few weeks of school this year. Each school also completes an annual fire and police inspection before the start of the school year, and locks and mechanisms at every district facility are also tested on a more frequent basis.
All staff at Winthrop Public Schools are also ALICE certified. ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, is a training method that helps prepare individuals to respond to the threat of an active shooter. It also teaches individuals potentially life-saving actions that could help themselves and others during such a threat. These skill sets seek to empower people to make decisions that could save their lives and limit the impact of a violent intruder event.
Police and firefighters are also members of Threat Assessment teams within the Winthrop Public School District, which also include administrators and community health staff.
On behalf of the Winthrop Police and Fire Departments, Chiefs Delehanty and and Flanagan wish everyone a happy and safe start to the new school year!