Special to The Sun
OKLA. CITY —
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Kim Carter, director of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, gave an update on what the Oklahoma School Security Institute has been providing to schools across Oklahoma since the OSSI went into effect July 1, 2013, and what plans the OSSI has for the 2014 calendar year.
“The most basic priority of government is to protect its people,” Lamb said. “The OSSI has provided information and training that has equipped our schools and provided a secure environment for our students.”
To enhance planning and preparedness efforts aimed at school security, the OSSI soon will begin offering schools and public safety agencies across the state a training course titled “Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools.” This course is designed for schools that may not have an existing safety and security plan, or for schools who want to bolster their current plans. Attendees will learn how to develop safety and security teams within the school, and provide these team members with the knowledge and tools to create a plan unique to their school facilities.
A “train the trainer” course is scheduled for February, to help develop a cadre of Oklahoma instructors who can teach this course, with classes available for schools to attend by March. Other training classes under development include school bus security, how to conduct security assessments, crisis communications, tactical medical response, and developing a survival mindset.
For the past few years, the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) have partnered to provide active shooter response training to local law enforcement agencies. More than 2,000 law enforcement officers have received this two-day training. Active shooter response training courses will continue to be offered in 2014 and beyond.
The OSSI, working along with Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, has selected the “Mental Health First Aid for Youth” training course to be made available to school teachers, school staff members, and others such as law enforcement officers and public safety officials.
Additionally, the Office of Homeland Security has hired a program manager for the Oklahoma School Security Institute.
School districts and school personnel interested in receiving assistance should contact the OSSI by calling 425-7296, or via email at OSSI@dps.state.ok.us.