The deadly school shootings in Connecticut have raised school safety concerns across the country and here in the Anchorage School District.
ASD members along with the Anchorage Police Department and Mayor Dan Sullivan's office held a press conference Friday to assure the public that Anchorage schools have extensive safety measures in place in the event of in-school violence.
Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said every school in the district has emergency response plans in place for several scenarios including the one that unfolded in Connecticut on Friday morning.
He could not give specific details about the response strategies, for fear of compromising their effectiveness, however, he expressed confidence in the readiness of Anchorage schools.
Mew also explained that there are 16 school resource officers placed in Anchorage high schools to enhance safety in and around schools.
Although based in the high schools, these SROs also split time between the district's middle and elementary schools.
Anchorage School District Superintendent Jim Browder told Anchorage parents that every school in the district practices monthly lock-down drills to familiarize staff and students with the procedures, should they become necessary.
He went on to call upon all members of the community to take individual action to prevent or deflect violence.
"It is critical that we all, even as a citizen driving down the street, if you see the wrong thing happening at a business or school stop the car and call somebody," Browder said.
Contact Nancy Lockwood