Intruder Disarmament Training Offered to School Districts Around St. Louis

Law enforcement and school district officials shared area crises plans at a Safe Schools Partnership meeting Thursday. Police-led training could be provided to teachers and administrators.

St. Louis area police and school administrators are taking security measures in schools to the next level, even to the point of perhaps conducting training for teachers about how to disarm intruders and negotiate with shooters who invade schools.

St. Louis County Police Department officers and members of the Safe Schools Partnership met Thursday morning at the Rockwood School District Administrative Annex in Eureka to continue discussions about how to bolster future safety in schools. St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch said police teams are offering to survey the crises and emergency plans for the corresponding schools they service, especially to ensure everyone involved is operating from the same premises.

"This meeting was about gathering information, and giving people who don't always get to talk to each other, a chance to share details," Fitch said.

He said many school leaders have outlined new initiatives, but are trying to determine how to pay for them.

A large portion of the meeting was devoted to various school districts sharing their crises plans. Organizers indicated the majority of St. Louis area school districts were represented at the meeting, including St. Charles, Riverview Gardens, Parkway, Hazelwood, Clayton, Mehlville, Valley Park and Pattonville.

Chief Communications Officer Kim Cranston, from the hosting Rockwood School District for Thursday's meeting, said more than 150 representatives attended.

Capt. Kenneth Williams, commander of the St. Louis County Police Department-Wildwood (6th) Precinct and a coordinator with Rockwood School District as St. Louis County's largest district, said the meeting also focused on "pre-event planning," specifically what school staffs can do during the 10 to 12 minutes it takes police to reach the building after a dangerous incident begins.

Cooperating School Districts Executive Director Don Senti said decisions about school safety and security should be left up to the local school board and local law enforcement. "This is not a 'one size fits all' issue."

Safe Schools Partnership of St. Louis County was launched during the 1998-1999 school year. It is a collaborative agreement between the county police department, area police departments, school districts, and other concerned agencies, with the sole goal of assuring safety for children.

The group met in December, shortly after the Newtown, CT, shooting tragedy for an open discussion of what changes, if any, respective school districts would like to see regarding security protocols.

Read related articles:

School Officials Reject Idea of Arming Teachers at Safety Meeting

School security changes implemented since December include:

  • St. Louis County Police increased their presence at the elementary schools for which they provide security.
  • Police are making random visits to schools and walk-throughs.
  • Police officers are present at the beginning and end of school days.

Fitch tells Patch the next Safe Schools Partnership meeting will be about "doable actions" districts can implement and how to better address challenges that stem from mental health-related issues and people who have the propensity to be violent.

Stephanie Stemmler February 01, 2013 at 03:52 PM
I wouldn't mind if someone offered a good intruder disarmament training program for residents, too.
Matt Frey February 01, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Heartland Ninjutsu, located in Immaculate Conception Parish Hall, in Maplewood is still offering a free month of active shooter and disarmament training for teachers and administrators. @Stephanie: We'll extend the offer to you too. We teach very practical self-protection skills, including disarms. My partner and I both work in security and he's also an ex-cop. We've used this stuff. We know what works and what doesn't. Ninjutsu is based on natural body movements, uses positioning and leverage to apply joint manipulations, throws, chokes, and much more. Techniques were tested and proven on the battlefields of ancient Japan. Military and law enforcement agencies use techniques and tactics from Ninjutsu. No gimmicks. No strings attached. Just a little community outreach. Teachers are legally responsible for our kids during the school day. We want them to be able to protect the kids as well as we can.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »