Shooter training pays off

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School officials and law enforcement in Boardman are beefing up security before the start of the new school year.

The changes come on the heels of an active shooting training exercise that took place in April. Police Chief Jack Nichols said one of the issues that came to light from the training was that they needed better communication.

Officers in Boardman have started using a new $4.5 million radio system with Austintown and they recycled the old system, placing it in all the buildings in the school district. The new setup allows administrators to have direct contact with Boardman dispatch.

“That direct communication from the school district or from the mall or any other place to the police department, those seconds count to try to make people as safe as possible,” said FBI Special Agent Todd Werth.

When a crisis unfolds at a school, such as the Sandy Hook and Chardon shootings, calls from cell phones quickly tie up 911 dispatch. The radios in place at Boardman will help eliminate that problem for those in the school.

“They’re also providing us with other devices that we can use internally within this school that may also have an option to communicate with outside sources such as police if there is a situation where cell phones went down,” said Principal Jared Cardillo, Boardman High School.

Nichols said they will implement other safety standards throughout the year that were taken from lessons learned at the spring training exercise.

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