Safety & Security
District 64 over the past three years has focused significant time and resources on studying and enhancing the safety and security of students and staff. Our efforts have been guided by partnerships with our local First Responders; a noted safety consultant who assessed every aspect of our current facilities and practices; and a regional organization known for its expertise in staff training and emergency response planning. Investments of both time and financial resources have been targeted to systematically complete the highest recommendations offered by these professional partners. Although much remains to be done, and indeed security will always be evolving, District 64 today is a safer environment for our students and staff than it was in the past.
District 64 operates in close cooperation with local First Responders from the City of Park Ridge and the Village of Niles. Park Ridge and Niles police and fire oversee various safety and security drills at the schools annually, and conduct all regular required inspections.
In addition, our District 64 Crisis Communications Committee meets periodically to review plans and procedures. Members include representatives from District 64 and our schools; fire and police from Park Ridge and Niles; and Maine Township High School District 207 administrators.
District 64 contracted with security consultant Paul Timm of RETA Security in August 2013. Mr. Timm has been a Board-certified Physical Security Professional (PSP) by ASIS International since 2003, and has almost 20 years of security consulting experience. He most recently authored: School Security: How to Build and Strengthen a School Safety Program. Mr. Timm conducted a physical security audit of District 64. The audit focused on the presence and relative effectiveness of four physical elements: deterrence - discouraging unauthorized actions; detection - recognizing unauthorized actions; delay - slowing unauthorized actions; and response - reacting to unauthorized actions.
Mr. Timm joined with local First Responders in presenting a comprehensive status report to the Board at the October 26, 2015 meeting. At that time, the key recommendations in the RETA audit that had been completed thus far were reviewed, and the remaining items to be addressed were identified. Key recommendations from the audit were grouped into four categories: secure vestibules; visitor management system; additional exterior cameras; and communications.
Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA)
To accomplish the RETA recommendations and to build a more comprehensive safety and security plan, District 64 in late fall 2015 added the expertise of NIPSTA. The NIPSTA team includes a well-rounded group of experts in emergency preparedness, management, and training. District 64 engaged NIPSTA to: augment/enhance the RETA report; provide support with development and revision of policies and procedures; and provide initial as well as ongoing staff training.