An active shooter-intruder drill will take place at Boardman High School Wednesday morning.
Boardman Local Schools Superintendent Frank Lazzeri held a news conference Monday morning to remind the public that the event will be a drill and not to be alarmed by an increase in police and other emergency personnel in and around the high school. A consultant was brought in to draw up a mock emergency scenario that will result in a lot of police activity outside and around the school.
Boardman Local Schools are on spring break, so approximately 100 student and teacher volunteers will be at the high school Wednesday to help with the drill. Local police, the FBI and other local agencies will be treating the incident as a real crisis.
“We’ll be beginning this scenario in the morning and then in the afternoon we will all gather after lunch and we’ll critique how it went and what we did. Essentially the purpose here is to find out where we make our mistakes,” said Boardman Police Chief Jack Nichols.
The exact scenario has been kept a secret to those that will respond.
“I don’t even know what the scenario is going to be, so this is all about decision making and responding the correct way,” Nichols said.
The drill has been in the works for almost a year following the shooting at Chardon High School last February.
“We will be prepared to enact our school crisis plan, our school safety plan, in reaction to what they have planned for us, so it should be interesting,” said Boardman Schools Superintendent Frank Lazzeri.
The superintendent also talked about security upgrades he would like to see happen for the district, including switching surveillance video from analog to digital so that Boardman police would have access to the district’s cameras. The current cameras are not compatible with the police department’s equipment, Lazzeri said.
He said a permanent improvement replacement levy will be on the May ballot, with most of the money going toward improved security measures. Lazzeri said the improvement levy was first passed in 1988 as a 1.6-mill levy, but decreased property values and the state’s elimination of the tangible personal property tax has resulted in that levy bringing in less than 1 mill.
He said passage of the levy in May would bring the levy up to current property values and cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately 5 cents more per day.
Practice like Wednesday’s drill is aimed at giving agencies a chance to run through plans they have in real time and work on any problems.
“Hopefully put some things in place that would prevent those kinds of mistakes from happening should we ever have a tragedy occur in reality,” Nichols said.
Depending on what’s thrown at them, police warn the mock drill could include nearby road closings.