Cumberland Times-News

March 30, 2013

Sheriff’s Office works to make schools even safer

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— As citizens across the United States mourn the tragedy of recent and senseless shootings at public facilities, including schools, there is an understandable desire to take decisive action.  

For the past several months, law enforcement agencies from coast to coast, school boards, and governments at every level are again reviewing the facts, discussing options, and trying to determine how to use the resources available to  make public facilities even more safe. Allegany County is not an exception!

The Sheriff’s Office is currently in the process of reviewing and updating our plans and procedures for crisis management and prevention.  

This will provide a framework in which every school in Allegany County, both public and private, can plan for and perform their emergency functions during school crisis situations. It’s further designed to assist the staff in following the procedure with the greatest possible speed and safety.

Regardless of the prescribed procedures, training, and instruction, we acknowledge that the sound judgment of the administration and staff is an integral part of safety management.

As a result of efforts over the past several years, here in Allegany County, by the Board of Education, especially teachers and administrators, students and parents, law enforcement agencies, and government at every level, the safety of our schools has been enhanced and constantly upgraded. We can all take pride in that fact.

Our schools are safe, but we will not allow ourselves to become complacent. Obviously for security reasons we do not discuss specific details of security measures that are in place within public facilities, including schools.

Safety and security in public facilities is constantly evolving, and we must utilize available resources in an efficient manner.

As such, I have advised the county commissioners that I am forming a work group that will work closely with the Sheriff’s Office and my staff as we continue the process of reviewing the safety measures that are currently in place.

I have spoken with the superintendent of schools and asked that he allow the coordinator for safety, security, and risk management for the county school system to be part of this work group.

 The main objective of this initiative is prevention and personal safety of each and every citizen using public facilities in Allegany County.  

As I stated earlier, please understand, the schools in Allegany County are a safe environment for our children.

As a parent, with two children in the public school system, I am always concerned for the safety of our children, inside and outside of school, and will continue this effort.

Allegany County Sheriff Craig A. Robertson