Orange County Sheriff's Office and Orange County Schools are teaming up to possibly change safety policies in response to last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
“Each time there is an incident, even though we may not be directly involved, we certainly review any of our plans that we have in place and look at ways we can more effectively address concerns to ensure our school system finds best ways to increase the safety if its measure,” said Patrick Abele, chief operations officer for the school district.
The county is no stranger to emergency situations with active shooters, said Sheriff Charles Blackwood, and they are ready to respond whether the threat is at a shopping mall, a private residence or a school.
The school district already does lockdown training with staff every year and is also starting to do emergency preparedness drills throughout the year, but Blackwood said he is also working with the fire department to change the way they respond to fire alarms in schools, in light of the Florida shooting.
“Since I was in the first grade, when the alarm goes you line up you get out the door. Right now. Fast,” Blackwood said. “Would four or five seconds really matter? Well, it would have for those children in Florida. If they’d have stayed in that school room instead of running out in the hallway when the alarm went off, many of them would be here today.”