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John Jay’s Center for Private Security and Safety Provides Oversight to a Desktop Drill at Newtown Connecticut

As an outgrowth of the recent collaboration between John Jay’s Center for Private Security and Safety and the Newtown Public School District in Connecticut, key emergency management teams from across the Connecticut township came together to continue to strengthen their preparedness for potential disasters. Specifically, John Jay’s Center provided oversight for MHA, a Phoenix-based business continuity and resiliency consulting firm, to conduct a tabletop mock disaster exercise. The exercise provided an opportunity for key personnel to fine-tune how to respond to a simulated disaster in a controlled environment.

In this tabletop exercise, participants including 911 Dispatch, Fire, Police, EMS, Public Information Officer, the Newtown school system, and others. They gathered together at the Town of Newtown Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond to a simulated hazardous material spill/chemical inhalation event that affected the 1700 student body members of the Newtown High School. Participants were asked to simulate their response to the event using their training, plans and protocols and to coordinate efforts with the other participants as they would in a “real world” event.

To further challenge the exercise participants, the scenario was updated with new twists or “injects” to provide additional opportunities for training. At the end of the exercise, participants provided the exercise facilitators with a Post Incident Analysis (PIA) of the successes and opportunities for improvement." Although heavily challenged, each participating Newtown service department and the school system performed at a high level of efficiency. The drill was a complete success," said Anthony Gentile, CEO of the Center for Private Security and Safety at John Jay. “It demonstrates a strong commitment from the township that they engaged in a unified drill of this nature,” he added.

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the Newtown Public School District in Connecticut partnered with John Jay’s Center for Private Security and Safety to collaborate on the review and implementation of safety and security measures in the school district. The drill is part of these measures,” explained Gentile.

The Center for Private Security and Safety is dedicated to professionalization of the private security industry and its safety constituencies in fire and emergency management. The center is designed to develop joint partnerships with both the public and private safety providers and to serve corporate, educational and industrial institutions in need of guidance through best practices and current industry standards at the local, state, national and international level. For more information, visit click here.