JeffCo and Shelby county superintendents discuss school security - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

JeffCo and Shelby county superintendents discuss school security

Jefferson and Shelby county school officials meet with the Director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security. Source: WBRC video Jefferson and Shelby county school officials meet with the Director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Jefferson and Shelby county superintendents received an update on school security Wednesday.

The director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security says one way to make schools safer is to require more people to take part in an active shooter training program.

"The active shooter scenario is not confined to schools. It's a rising phenomena in schools, entertainment venues or places of worship," Spencer Collier said.

The active shooter program teaches that if a person is threatening a school, staff and students should run, hide or as a last resort, fight. Collier says not every police officer is trained in the program and he wants to see that changed.

Another tool is an online program which will allow first responders to access diagrams and cameras at schools which are being threatened.

"Floor plans and then the access to cameras give officers a tactical advantage he normally wouldn't have," Collier said.

Many Jefferson and Shelby county schools are using more law enforcement and resource officers for protection.

"We have only four schools. We have a small police department but we prepared to handle these types of situations," Gene Melton, Trussville mayor, said.

The city of Hoover appropriated money to hire more resource officers Tuesday night.

"It's a continual evaluation. We are doing that. We are trying to mitigate the risk," Andy Craig, Hoover superintendent, said.

While the educators want increased security they also know there is a limit to what they can do.

"It doesn't hurt to trying to make it safe but there is a point we go beyond looking like a school and looking like a prison," Stephen Nowling, Jefferson County superintendent, said.

Related: JeffCo School officials don't support bill to arm school staff

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