SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Town officials, police, and fire departments met with members of the South Hadley Public Schools to discuss and enhance safety protocols.

During the meeting, action items were put together to ensure the safety of South Hadley residents at public facilities such as the schools and the Town Hall. One of the improvements discussed was numbering windows and doors in school buildings to facilitate the identification of areas of concern in the event of an emergency, according to a news release sent to 22News from South Hadley Public Schools. 

Members agreed to evaluate the security of town-wide facilities conducted by specialists, provide training to departments in emergency response, implement and improve communication systems across all departments, and continue to meet monthly to address improvements to security-related matters.

“We want all residents, employees and visitors to be as safe and secure as possible as they engage in the business of their daily lives,” said School Superintendent Mark McLaughlin and Town Administrator Lisa Wong.

The following best practices were reviewed during the meeting that are already in place to support resident safety:

  • Robust partnerships with police including the service of a School Resource Officer whose daily presence in our schools provides both security and training to staff and students.
  • Frequent oversight of town facilities by both fire departments to ensure compliance with industry standard best practices, current laws and all local and state regulations.
  • Proactive planning, information sharing and provision of services by Emergency Management and Health Services.
  • Emergency response protocols and drills performed regularly in all schools throughout the district to ensure that staff and students are well prepared to take whatever action may be necessary in the event of an emergency event of any kind.

South Hadley Chief of Police Jennifer Gundersen commented that “the safety of all members of the South Hadley community is best achieved through effective communication and strong partnerships. As we enhance our safety protocols, these tenets will guide our efforts towards success.”

The safety meeting provided a stronger partnership and coordination to ensure the efficiency of each department in emergency response protocols.