Jefferson City Public Schools officials work to improve safety

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JEFFERSON CITY – The JCPS Security Committee met Tuesday to present policy revisions and talk about new ideas to keep students safe.

One of the new projects discussed was electronic maps for first responders.

Frank Underwood, JCPS Transportation, Safety and Security Coordinator, said he hopes electronic maps will help officers who are not familiar with the school layout get acclimated quickly during emergency situations.

"What I want to do is ensure that they have something that's legible and accessible with just a press of a button," he said. "I want them to be able to see room numbers, I want them to see hallways, entrances, access, major utilities, whether it be water, electric and gas lines."

The committee also worked with the fire department to clarify the current policy requirement for fire drills.

"It says a sufficient number of drills to be able to educate and train the students and staff," Underwood said. "There was a lack of specific number within that policy and procedure."

Officials agreed to have no less than seven fire drills per year. They also agreed to run the first drill within the first 10 days of school.

"Our goal is to more clarify that not only for anybody that reads our policy and procedure, but also with an agreement with the Fire Department, so that we are on board," Underwood said.

Underwood also presented a program called "Lunch with Law Enforcement" to extend JCPS's partnership with the Callaway County Sheriff office and bring students in elementary schools closer to law enforcement.

"We have SROs in our middle schools and in our high schools. What we would like to do is see more officers come in to our elementary schools, and build that relationship with those kids that are there in the school," he said. "Most of the time kids only know officers when something bad is happening, or something is going on."

The security committee also presented the first rough draft of a crisis management and post-crisis recovery plan.

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