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Local School Staffs Receive ALICE Training

SANATOGA PA – Faculty and staff members at buildings within the Pottsgrove School District, as well as at several privately operated schools in Lower Pottsgrove, are participants in what was described last week by township Police Chief Michael Foltz as “ongoing training” in procedures intended to keep themselves and their students safe from an intruder or would-be terrorist.

The schools’ standard lock-down and lock-out practices, which occur occasionally each year as conditions warrant, were reviewed with personnel at all buildings, Foltz reported Jan. 4 to the Board of Commissioners. In addition, they received either new or review instruction in what law enforcers refer to as ALICE training; the acronym stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.”

Most area schools’ safety plans now include ALICE activities “in the event of a violent encounter,” Foltz reminded commissioners. When the Pottsgrove district introduced ALICE training during the 2013-2014 academic year, Superintendent Shellie Feola said it “promotes internal communication, permits … strategies for slowing an intruder down, and provides for rapid evacuation of classrooms when windows of opportunities exist.”

Not all security experts endorse ALICE. Some have criticized such practices as potentially further endangering either or both supervising adults and the children in their care.

ALICE is nonetheless considered of value locally. Lower Pottsgrove’s school resource officer, Ofc. David Slothower, led the schools’ training and refresher sessions during December, according to Foltz. Slothower also designed and created in-house training for his colleagues on the police force, which was delivered online, the chief added.

Commissioners are next scheduled to meet Jan. 21 (Thursday) beginning at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd. Meetings are free to attend and open to the public.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Jan. 4 meeting):

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