(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – Governor Matt Mead is pleased with the progress made by the School Safety Task Force, now known as the School Safety Advisory Committee. In 2013, Governor Mead asked the Legislature to support the Task Force and for a review and recommendations of Wyoming school buildings for safety. The School Safety Advisory Committee has been working on ways to make schools safer and to develop crisis management procedures. It was formalized by the Legislature this year.
“We care deeply about our children and we have invested a tremendous amount in our schools. This Task Force has done important work in developing ideas to try and make schools as safe as possible. Safe schools improve learning for kids and teachers,” Governor Mead said. “Thanks to the work of the Task Force we have a process to help protect schools and to help avert violence before it happens. We are implementing state-of-the-art practices to diffuse and stabilize a bad situation – if necessary.”
The School Safety Advisory Committee is comprised of educators, superintendents, first responders and law enforcement.
The Task Force created the Wyoming Comprehensive Public Safety Planning Model. This model can be used by all 48 Wyoming school districts, law enforcement and emergency responders to refine Emergency Operations Plans. Addressing the most common situations a school may face, the document covers prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
Emergency Preparedness Specialists will help school districts develop Emergency Operations Plans and provide training. The specialists operate within the Department of Education.
“Supporting local school districts and teachers across the state to head off a tragedy is a priority. We want to be proactive and we can help districts and administrators prepare and spot warning signs. This is an important step for Wyoming,” Governor Mead said.
“We have had excellent collaboration between people from many backgrounds. They have come together to support local school districts and make a positive difference,” Director of the Office of Homeland Security, Guy Cameron, said. “There is more to do, but we already have some good resources available for school districts.”
The Schools Facilities Department is tasked with upgrading the security of the school buildings. Security and safety standards will be integrated into standards for all Wyoming schools by the end of the year. A contractor will be selected to develop the safety and security standards, a checklist for school evaluations, and to estimate the cost and time it takes to complete the evaluation of all schools against the new standards.
Wyoming is working with school districts on over $7 million worth of security-related construction projects.
–Provided by Gov. Matt Mead’s Office