Emergency Preparedness, Safety, Security

Missouri Safety Department Offers Schools Free Security Planning Software

The Missouri Department of Public Safety (DPS) is providing additional funding of up to $1.5 million to provide new, easy-to-use school safety planning software to more public and charter schools. The funding comes in two programs: one to provide physical security assessments (PSAs) and a second that allows schools to create specific emergency operation plans (EOPs) for their individual circumstances.

DPS Director Sandy Karsten said, “These two programs, which we are providing at no cost to school districts and charter schools, can be used together to assess specific risks and vulnerabilities and then build emergency operations plans to respond to security gaps.”

DPS is offering the following:

  • Up to $1 million for PSA software that allows schools to conduct comprehensive security risk assessments of the interior and exterior of school buildings, detect potential vulnerabilities, and develop a full report for their district to be able to address security gaps. DPS grant funding allows each district to access the software, and schools can register for free PSAs here.
  • $500,000 will allow schools to create new or strengthen existing EOPs through a web-based Emergency Operations Plan Development Tool. Over 245 Missouri school districts across the state have already taken advantage of this DPS-funded program through the Missouri Schools Boards’ Association. Now, additional schools can apply to gain access to the program, which allows school districts and charter schools to create site-specific, all-hazard response plans over the course of the next year. The tool offers step-by-step instructions and suggestions, including spelling out specific roles for teachers, administrators, and others. The EOP tool also provides a safe storage site so plans can be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. To learn about the program or to sign up, schools can click here.

The registration deadline for both opportunities is May 31. These programs build on existing DPS school safety funding, including two new initiatives the department launched in 2023 to bolster security and respond to threats in Missouri schools:

  • School Mobile Emergency Alert App: A mobile emergency alert app was made available to all public school districts and charter schools in Missouri. Over 140 Missouri school districts and charter schools, representing more than 800 school buildings, have taken advantage of the program that allows districts to create customized alert programs to respond to emergencies. The app expedites an emergency response by allowing teachers and other school staff to quickly initiate an alert through their mobile device or computer. The silent alert works directly with 911 to provide critical information, such as the location within a school that the app was activated and school campus maps, to first responders, law enforcement, and campus personnel within seconds. Additionally, districts are able to schedule and manage their ongoing safety drills using the software. Schools may register for the free program here.
  • Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT): DPS partnered with Missouri State University to provide free active shooter training to law enforcement agencies across the state utilizing the national standard for active shooter training. The curriculum is through ALERRT, based at Texas State University. In 2013, the FBI named the ALERRT curriculum the national standard for active shooter response training. In 2023, 12 ALERRT training sessions were held that were participated in by 191 Missouri law enforcement officers. The Missouri program has expanded in 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *