Assembly explains new safety protocols

Eliza Poster, Staff Writer

The school’s annual Safety Assembly this past Wednesday centered on reiterating lockdown protocol, explaining changes in fire drill procedure, and introducing the Department of Public Safety staff to the student body.

“It’s a grand time to share information with all the students, faculty, and staff and our opportunity to let everyone know what’s happening around the campus, what our procedures are, and refresh everyone’s memory in that regard,” Director of Public Safety Mike McCaw said.

The assembly’s most important subject was evacuation and lockdown drill protocol, McCaw said.

The school implemented lockdown drills three years ago in response to the frequency of school shootings around the country, which required installing a wireless PA system around the campus and training students and faculty in lockdown procedures.

In addition, there will be no more unscheduled fire drills as assailants have been known to pull the fire alarm during attacks on schools.

Another major change to the school’s public safety is the addition of Lutnick Hall to campus. The same security systems and apparatuses, which are installed in all other buildings, are also installed in the new facility, including cameras, AEDs, and emergency phones, McCaw said.

The Department of Public Safety also spent part of the assembly introducing themselves to the students and faculty. “It made me have more faith in the [Department of Public] safety just because when you introduce people it humanizes them and makes you have more trust in them,” Ben Hu (12) said.

This year, the Department of Public Safety changed its name from the Security Department due to the vast responsibilities that the branch bears, McCaw said.

“We changed so many different things since I came to the school and we’ve become more than a Security Department, we’re a Public Safety Department, which would be more of a response type of unit rather than just being guard positions and checking people coming in,” McCaw said.

McCaw’s goal for the assembly was to show students that they are safe at the school. “We want everyone to come to school, in light of all the violence in schools, to know that this is a safe zone and they’re all safe and protected, and leave in that frame of mind so they can go about getting educated and having fun,” he said.