|San Jacinto News Times - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Area agencies explore school safety during forum
COLDSPRING -- An unprecedented countywide, multi-agency school safety forum was held at the Coldspring- Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District (COCISD) administration office on Thursday, Jan. 10. The purpose of the meeting was to promote interagency cooperation in the event of a catastrophic emergency such as a school shooting, bomb threat or weather related incident. Initiated by COCISD Police Chief Roosevelt Joseph, representatives from the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office, Criminal District Attorney's Office, DPS and the Coldspring Volunteer Fire Department attended the event, as well as Fire Marshal James Rogers, all four county constables, COCISD administrators, and Shepherd ISD Police Chief Jeffrey K. Sparks. "I first thought about trying to coordinate a meeting like this back in September when we had the possible threat of a tornado," said Joseph. "The idea was to get all the agencies together so we can work as a cohesive unit in the event that some catastrophe happened. The Sandy Hook incident impressed the need for action sooner rather than later." Topics discussed at Thursday's meeting included emergency communications, incident command procedures, cooperative drills and training, first responders and cross-district mutual aid between the Shepherd ISD and COCISD police departments, if needed. The group plans to meet quarterly in the future for planning and implementation of emergency procedures and training exercises. "You never know when something might happen," said Joseph. "The key thing is to do everything you're trained to do. Then, in the end, you can rest assured that you did everything you possibly could to save lives and protect people."