Local School Uses Nationally Recognized Program for Safety

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — “Color coatings, simple verbage, some of the rhymes that go with the instructions,” says Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago of the Columbia Police Department. Santiago says those are just some of the reasons his department chose the “Standard Response Protocol,” for the Imagine Columbia Leadership Academy. “It’s not about replacing the program, it’s enhancing a program to make sure that people respond quickly and be safe at the end of the day,” says Santiago. The school’s “Chief of Police,” says safety is a priority. “I am, I’m the Chief of Police of Imagination and what we do is we try to make our hallways and school safer.” says Jamaris Quattlebaum, Student at Imagine Columbia Leadership Academy. A jobs he says, begins at the start of the day. “We’ll lock the doors when it’s time to be in class and so it prevents all of the harmful things that could come inside our school from the back,” says Quattlebaum. As of Friday, he had more back up. Columbia police officers spent Friday morning teaching students how the program works. Crandall Sims reporting, “One of the four main actions of the program include a Lockdown. Students have a rhyme to remember it by… locks, lights, out of sight. So, you lock the door… turn out the lights and get out of sight.” Other steps include: Lockout, Evacuate and Shelter. “We want to do what we can to assure our children that there are a lot of evils in the world, but they are safe when they are in school,” says Suezan Turknett, Principal of Imagine Columbia Leadership Academy Principal Turknett says the school has already had to beef up safety precautions. “We had an incident last fall where we had an intruder on campus,” says Turknett. Turknett says the intruder did not make it inside, but a gate was put up around the back for precaution. And now a new precaution. “In a crisis situation, emotions are going to run high and it’s going to be chaotic. So we want to keep it simple,” says Santiago.

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