‘Project Guardian’ helps schools

LIHUE — The Kauai Police Department recently completed a risk assessment study of Kauai’s public schools in an effort to keep students and faculty safe should an active shooter incident occur on campus.

The study, called “Project Guardian,” began in July and entailed a vulnerability assessment of the island’s three middle schools, nine elementary schools, and three high schools.

KPD’s findings were submitted in August to Kaua‘i’s Complex Area Superintendent Bill Arakaki, which led the Department of Education to initiate improvements for Kauai’s public schools.

KPD’s recommended changes included certified training for staff, review and update policies and procedures, lockdown drills, security staff, physical deterrents such as deadbolt locks, protective barriers and security cameras, and improving building identification and maps.

The completion of Project Guardian also led the administration at Waimea High School to conduct a preparedness drill on its campus on Dec. 21.

“Thank you for the great leadership, fantastic students, outstanding staff, wonderful KPD partners and many others for a successful drill,” Arakaki said. “Most important is caring for and keeping our students and staff safe.”

The drill was a combined effort between KPD, DOE’s state and district officials, community partners and school staff.

“The exercise at Waimea High School was the first step of many toward keeping our children safe,” said Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry.

To help residents learn more about responding to an active shooter and assaulter event, KPD plans to offer an ALICE active shooter instructor course in February. Anyone interested may contact Sgt. Lance Okasaki at 241-1647.


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