School safety task force meets in Johnson County

OVERLAND PARK, KS - Local law enforcement and 13 school districts across Johnson and Miami counties met Monday to discuss school safety.

It's being called the Defensive School Project and the goal is to provide resources, options and strategies that will help improve emergency plans currently in place at schools and colleges throughout the area.

"Our goal is not to make our schools fortresses, but our goal is to make sure we can provide the best possible safety procedures in every one of our buildings," said Gene Johnson, superintendent of schools for Shawnee Mission School District.

"Our buildings are different all across the county, so there is no one size fits all situation here. So when we're finished and the report is completed, it will give schools districts the opportunity to have additional options."

Eleven different teams of law enforcement and school administrators discussed ways to revise plans and create new strategies to provide safe learning environments for schools and campuses.

Police Chief John Douglass say officials need to find better ways to identify internal suspects and external threats.

"How do we make the classroom a protective conclave so that people can't come in and attack the kids? How do we isolate the person? More importantly the more importantly, we need to identify threats out before they get to the school," he said.

Police Chief John Douglass said he hopes the revised plans will be in place by summer.

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