classroomAs the nation’s schools devise plans for responding effectively to critical incidents on campus, the spotlight is now on how school districts are managing crises, emergencies, disasters, terrorism threats and active shooters. In many cases, these districts are looking to the schools that have “been there” for examples of what to do (or, what not to do) when these and other incidents occur.

Steve Zipperman, chief of police for the Los Angeles School Police Department will share his experiences and expertise with attendees at Campus Safety Conference West, which will take place in Long Beach, Calif., August 9-10. Zipperman will discuss Critical Decision Making During Significant Safety Threats: Debrief of a District-wide School Day Shut-down.

In this Q and A, Zipperman discusses his district’s 2015 shutdown, the value of having solid relationships with federal agencies and law enforcement, and some of the key steps that districts need to take in the event of a safety threat on campus.

Campus Safety: What prompted you to present this topic at the conference?

Zipperman: We had a district shutdown last December. It was the result of things that are occurring probably daily in many school districts, as well as with security departments and school police departments or municipal agencies that are responsible for the SRO responsibilities of schools. In our case, a cyberthreat came in about nine days after the San Bernardino tragedy. A lot of folks — certainly here regionally — were still thinking about that, and realizing that domestic terrorism is still alive and well and that it’s gotten even closer to home.

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