BOE’s safety efforts continue at schools

By LISA CAPOBIANCO
STAFF WRITER
New safety and security measures are ongoing in Bristol Public Schools.
During a Board of Education meeting held last Wednesday, Bristol Supt. of Schools Dr. Ellen Solek gave an update on the city-wide School Safety and Security Task Force plan.
This summer, bullet resistant glass coatings will be installed at all 12 school buildings in Bristol. The project was made possible through a state grant.
In addition to that, the district also has bought an identification system called Raptor, which will be installed at both Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern high schools this summer.
“That will require anyone who is entering our high schools to show a picture ID upon entrance,” said Solek. “The Raptor system then has the ability to deem visitors as safe upon entry to the building. They will print out an ID badge that that person will wear.”
In the event of an emergency, Solek said the system has an electronic component that will alert administrators, police, fire officials and others via text message.
“We’re looking forward to using that system very much,” said Solek.
Earlier this year, the district worked with the Bristol Police Department to implement some interventions to assess the risk during a threat in the district. This new protocol involves police officers conducting an “immediate level of threat” with school officials. The goal is to see the whole picture when a threat emerges to examine its credibility.
“This year, we mitigated those threats greatly through the help and collaboration of Bristol police,” said Solek.
Comprised of school and city officials as well as members of other community agencies, the Task Force originally identified six focus areas when it formed in 2013: communication, preparedness, response, support/legislation, recovery, and mitigation/prevention. As a result the Task Force identified goals, objectives and a mission to carry out actions under each focus area, said Solek.
The Task Force’s plan not only has indicated which items are complete, but also has marked ongoing items, such as preparedness. bristol city seal