Superintendent of Schools
22 Main St.
West Newbury, MA 01985
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015
Contact: Jeff Mulqueen, Superintendent
Pentucket Adopts State-of-the-Art Emergency Operations Plan and Real-time Threat Alert System
WEST NEWBURY, Mass. — Pentucket Regional School District students and staff will soon have the benefit of a brand new emergency operations plan and a real-time threat alert system, when they are implemented later this month.
“The Pentucket Regional School District seeks to become the preferred educational opportunity for students and families, the career opportunity of choice for talented educators, and the investment opportunity of choice for its member communities,” said Jeff Mulqueen, Superintendent of Schools. “Pentucket’s adoption of plans and systems that meet or exceed standards delineated in the Massachusetts Task Force Report on School Safety and Security establishes the District as a state leader for school safety.”
The police and fire chiefs of West Newbury, Groveland, and Merrimac all collaborated with District Administration to develop plans addressing a multitude of potential hazards, including severe storms, active shooters, bomb threats, and other emergencies. A copy of the report will be released to the public soon.
Merrimac Police Chief Eric Shears was particularly instrumental in supporting the adoption of the District’s new real-time threat alert system, COPsync911.
Today, every school must have the capability to manage emergencies. Pentucket’s emergency operations plan was developed in accordance with national standards and accepted practices in conjunction with community partners.
“We designed a school security plan for Pentucket that will help administrators and staff members manage any emergency that arises,” Chief Shears said. “Our goal was to create a plan of action and adopt a set of tools that will make our school district a recognized leader in school safety.”
State-of-the-Art references were useful in the development of Pentucket’s new emergency operations plan. For example, Lt. Scott Sencabaugh, Emergency Operations & Training Director for the Wilmington Police Department provided guidance for threat assessment. Superintendent Mulqueen credits Lt. Sencabaugh for contributing to the high quality of Pentucket’s new plan.
COPsync operates the nation’s largest law enforcement real-time, information sharing communication and data interoperability network. The system, which operates on computers and smartphones by using a mobile application, allows police officers and school administrators to obtain and share information in real time about anything from a fire to an ongoing act of violence on school grounds or inside a school building.
COPsync will reduce response time during emergencies, while providing greater situational awareness to staff and police.
In 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed Executive Order 548 establishing a Task Force on School Safety and Security, with the Secretaries of Executive Offices of Education, Health and Human Services, and Public Safety as co-chairs. The report provides guidance on steps to ensure a school is positioned to prevent, prepare and respond to, as well as recover from, an emergency. Pentucket’s Emergency Operations Plan came in direct response to this state report.