TAUNTON — Superintendent John Cabral and Police Chief Edward J. Walsh are pleased to announce that the Taunton Public Schools and Police Department are partnering with the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) to develop state-of-the-art resources to add to the district’s Emergency Preparedness Plan.
As part of this partnership, SRPEDD’s Homeland Security Department will work in conjunction with the school district and police department to create an Active Shooter Response Tool. The Active Shooter Response Tool will feature a 3-D layout of all the district’s facilities – 12 schools in total – in a physical and digital copy.
The physical copy will feature an easy-to-navigate, accurate map of the building that will include detailed 3-D scans of all areas within the district’s school buildings and indicate areas of egress and other notable structural features including dead ends, HazMat areas and more. Also included in this copy will be photos of key areas in the building that may feature oddities that could potentially complicate emergency responses.
The digital copy will feature an online, walkable 3-D map of the buildings which can be viewed on phones, tablets or laptops. The online version will allow school resource officers and emergency responders to virtually tour every area of a building to get a clear sense of its interior spaces and gain perspectives that can provide key locational or tactical information during emergency responses.
Both resources will include installation maps/building locations, security camera locations, video control room locations, and building floor plans.
“During any emergency response, it’s imperative that our first responders have an accurate and detailed depiction of the building they are responding to,” Chief Walsh said. “Having our school resource officers within the school buildings is a great asset as they have a general knowledge of the layout of facilities, but with these new resources we will be able to ensure that our command staff has a far more detailed resource ahead of time that they can familiarize themselves with and use as an asset when planning responses should they ever need to.”
Added Superintendent Cabral, “With the addition of these new cutting-edge resources, our district will have detailed depictions of our school buildings down to every minute detail that may impact emergency response. This tool will ensure that our first responders and administration are adequately prepared should tragedy ever strike our district. I’m very pleased to be one of the few school systems in the state to implement this resource. On behalf of the district, I would like to thank everyone who’s worked to bring this project to fruition.”
To create these resources, SRPEDD’S Homeland Security and Comprehensive Planning staff will work with school officials and first responders to ensure that the tool is usable, functional, and aligns with existing plans and procedures. It will take approximately a year for SRPEDD to capture 3-D footage and drone footage and build the deliverables. Footage will be captured after school when students are not in the buildings.
It is expected that the resources will be completed by 2024.
Emergency personnel will have access to this tool as well as building and district administration. The tool will be not only used in emergency situations but also may be used to conduct virtual tours and more.
“These tools help bring order to the chaos of an active shooter/hostile event and making our stakeholder municipalities safer and more resilient is an important part of our job. It takes a team to put the tool together, we are excited by the exceptional collaboration between public safety and the school department which gives us a strong foundation to build the best response tool on,” said SRPEDD Project Manager Kevin Ham.
To date, Old Rochester Regional School District is the only district in the state to use this technology. This district has invited neighboring schools in the Cty to attend meetings to learn more about this new technology.