Arkansas City Police Department officers were at Arkansas City High School on Sept. 28 to lead teachers through a series of armed intruder drills.

ALICE exercise

Photo by Alisha Call/USD 470

FROM LEFT: Arkansas City Police Department School Resource Officers Chase Hobart and Brian McGee, ACPD Capt. Mark McCaslin, and ACPD Sgt. Jason Legleiter review the ALICE model with Arkansas City High School staff.

The drills served as a refresher to the ALICE training provided by the police department. They offered teachers the opportunity to plan and practice specific responses.

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. It’s essentially a response model that gives a set of options to consider during an active intruder situation.

“It used to be expected that teachers and students would just turn the lights off and huddle together in a corner of the classroom,” said ACPD Capt. Mark McCaslin.

ALICE exercise

Photo by Alisha Call/USD 470

FROM LEFT: Hobart, McCaslin and Legleiter act as armed intruders during a safety drill Sept. 28 at Arkansas City High School.

“Now, we want everyone to know they have options and empower them to choose the safest response.”

The drill gave teachers the opportunity to hear blank rounds being fired throughout the school and then practice locking down, barricading doors, evacuating, and even engaging the “intruders.”

McCaslin said he knows teachers often think of students as their own and are willing to do what it takes to protect them.

“I feel like the drill went really well — everyone was attentive (and) engaged, and we were pleased with how well teachers responded,” he said.

ALICE exercise

Photo by Alisha Call/USD 470

Arkansas City High School teachers prepare to engage the “armed intruder” during a Sept. 28 ALICE drill at ACHS. The drill was designed to help teachers know and practice their response options should an armed intruder event occur.

“Ultimately, we wanted to give the group experience and help them gain confidence.”

USD 470 Superintendent Ron Ballard said the safety of students and staff is the district’s top priority, and he appreciates ACPD’s commitment to that, as well.

“We appreciate the officers’ willingness to work with our staff and students to create a safe learning environment,” he said.

“We have a great partnership that really benefits our kids and the community as a whole.”

This information was provided by USD 470 Public Relations Director Alisha Call.