Annual School Safety Program Kicks-Off August 29, 2001

August 24, 2001

Los Angeles: The fall semester for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) students enrolled in the traditional school year is about to begin. Once again, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the LAUSD are working together on a School Safety Plan. Similar plans have been in existence since 1988 in order to ensure a collaborative, coordinated effort as children return to their campuses. In light of recent tragedies that have occurred on school campuses around the world, this year’s program takes on even greater importance.

The education of our children is an essential function of government and the community. Both state law and moral imperative demand that government and the community provide safe school conditions under which children can focus on their educational curriculum. Students who are subjected to danger on campus or in transit to and from school are unable to make full use of the educational opportunities afforded to them. Our students must be able to pursue their education in peace and safety. To this end, the City of Los Angeles, the LAPD, and the LAUSD are totally committed.

Criminal activity on and near school campuses is a very real problem, not just for law enforcement and the schools, but for the entire community. Murders, assaults, robberies, and narcotics and gang activity often occur near school campuses. The time has come for law enforcement, schools, and the community to take a proactive approach in helping to provide a safe environment for our children. The School Safety Program assists the efforts of the LAPD, the LAUSD, and several other agencies in providing a safe environment for the children of Los Angeles not only as they return to school but throughout the entire school year.

In order to prepare for this year’s program, a “Safe Return to School” meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 29, 2001, 10:30 a.m., at the Los Angeles Police Academy Lounge, 1880 North Academy Drive, Los Angeles. Chief of Police Bernard C. Parks will represent the LAPD at this meeting. Members of the LAUSD School Board, Mayor James Hahn, members of the Los Angeles City Council, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer, LAUSD Police Chief Wesley Mittchell, and Chiefs of Police from departments serving the LAUSD have been invited to attend.

Chief Parks and others will discuss programs that will be utilized this school year, e.g., School Safety Plans, Threat Assessment Teams, School Cars, the Safe House Program, in order to help prevent violence on and near school campuses.

In addition the Los Angeles Police Department is committed to always being ready to intervene in extraordinary violence related situations whether in schools or in the community. Working with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Department is nearing the end of its Immediate Action – Rapid Deployment Training.

During the past two months, more than 6500 law enforcement personnel with LAPD, LAUSD and other outside agencies including the Los Angeles Fire Department have been undergoing intensive training on school campuses throughout the City of Los Angeles.

According to the National School Boards Association:

  • There are an estimated 3 million incidents of violence a year on U.S. campuses
  • 282,000 students are attacked each month
  • 135,000 students carry guns to school each day

The Department’s training focuses on the dynamics of school violence, command and control considerations and tactical intervention role playing exercises specific to schools and other heavily populated venues. The primary goal of Immediate Action – Rapid Deployment Training: quickly gather a group of officers who go directly to a threat and stop the threat, and/or ongoing violence. This type of training helps to strengthen an officer’s ability to select and then use the right tactic in a crisis situation.

A VHS copy of the training, that includes B-roll and soundbites, will be made available to the media at the “Safe Return to School” meeting on August 29, 2001..

For further information regarding the School Safety Program, please contact Captain Charlie Beck, Commanding Officer, Juvenile Division, 213-485-2801.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer, Guillermo Campos, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.