FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The North Pole Police Department, Alaska State Troopers, Fairbanks Police Department, Valdez Police Department, and Fairbanks North star Borough School District have joined forces to bring a program known as 'ALICE' to local schools.
Representatives met with the school board Tuesday evening to introduce the new lockdown program.
Chief Bart Hinkle; Valdez Police Department>>"When's the last time a student has died in the last 50 years in a public school via fire? None. Nobody. Over that same time frame 250 kids have been killed by firearms and over 500 injured. Why are we not training for this?"
Valdez Chief of Police, Bart Hinkle presented the board with information on a new lock down program.
Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.
The new program is meant to increase survivability by being proactive in an active shooter situation.
The approach was designed after the Sandy Hook mas shooting. Hinkle says there needs to be a first responder mindset on scene.
Chief Bart Hinkle; Valdez Police Department>>"Whoever is there and immediately effected by one of these events are the first responders. And their actions in that moment, affect their survivability rate, so they have to prepare, mentally prepare as first responders. We're asking for lock down for these students here, they're sitting underneath the desk waiting for other students to systematically get online and shoot them. We're asking them to do something that is totally opposite of our natural reactions of fight or flight and asking them just to lock down and wait."
President Heidi Haas agrees that the district should prepare.
Hiedi Haas; Board President>>"We can't have the mentality that it will never happen, where we live, regardless of where a live, across the country, we can't have that mentality."
Superintendent Karen Gaborik says students and parents can start to see implementation of 'ALICE', at the beginning of the next school year, with core staff and principals being trained next spring.
Karen Gaborik; Superintendent of Schools>>"Throughout the spring and over the summer we'll keep expanding that training of staff and I anticipate that in August after we get school rolling, we'll start with the training of students. So we're going to start making this shift initially next year, next school year."
Police Chief Hinkle suggests that classrooms have soup cans or a bucket of golf balls to aid in the distraction element if a threat enters a classroom, as well as barricading doors.
This is Julia Laude reporting.