By Will E Sanders
PIQUA — Communication is key in the event of an active-shooter scenario at a school, and administrators at the Upper Valley Career Center had that in mind when they applied for a grant earlier this year.
The Career Center secured the grant recently and it allowed for the purchase of an emergency, multi-agency radio that can be used to communicate directly with the authorities in the event of an emergency.
The$2,000 grant was through the School Security Grant program, which was passed by state legislators this year as a way of helping school districts across the state better communicate with first responders during an emergency.
Jason Haak, executive director of career technical education at the Career Center, said the new radio will be an asset since it will provide school administrators direct contact with responding officers in the event of an active-shooter scenario or another law enforcement emergency.
“It will be nice to have direct contact with police in an emergency situation,” Haak said.
Earlier this year the Career Center had a waiver day where officials with the Piqua Police Department came to the school and performed a seminar on school safety, which follows the department’s recent theme of planning with local schools concerning how to respond and be prepared for an active-shooter situation.
Haak called the cooperation between the police department and the Career Center crucial and valuable.
“It is just essential in today’s school environment to have open communication between the school and the police,” he said. “We appreciate the police and it is an asset to have a police department like Piqua’s to work with.”
The school received the radio this morning, along with training from Piqua Police Chief Bruce Jamison, regarding the emergency, multi-agency radio.
Jamison said the Career Center is the first school in his jurisdiction to apply for and obtain the grant, but said he would be interested in other schools following suit if they feel that it is prudent.
Jamison spoke to how crucial it is for school personnel to have direct communication with responding officers in the event of an emergency.
“Direct communication saves valuable seconds in an active-shooter situation,” Jamison said. “Responding units will be able to talk directly with administrators that know exactly what is going on in the building.”
But like most emergency preparedness actions, school officials and police never hope to have to actually use the radio in the event of an emergency, like an active-shooter scenario.
Will E Sanders may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.