Safety and Security / Blue Ribbon Panel (2024)

  • The Blue Ribbon Panel was convened from December 8, 2023, to May 1, 2024 and included a variety of local, state and federal experts. The Panel’s assessment of safety and security in LCPS was extremely positive, noting many areas of commendation and excellence. In the spirit of continuous improvement and our ongoing efforts to ensure the highest level of safety and security across our large school division, the panel noted eleven recommendations for enhancement. The panel’s work and recommendations were summarized in this report and have been submitted to the superintendent for review and consideration.

    The superintendent has shared his ONE LCPS: Forward Together Post Entry Plan, which includes his priority to continue to uplift safety and security. Working with the School Board and our schools, Dr. Spence will work to implement many of the recommendations from the work of the Blue-Ribbon Panel on Safety and Security. All 11 recommendations are below, and the responses to the recommendations are in italics.

    1. Prioritize school-level participation in safety and security and threat assessment training. We plan to set expectations for training of school staff and be specific about who from the school must attend.

    1. Ensure that School Resource Officers and Unified Mental Health Team representatives participate in every threat assessment, as required by Virginia law, code 22.1-79.4,Threat assessment teams and oversight committees. We will comply with this recommendation as is required by law.

    1. Add a digital analysis to all serious and very serious threat assessments. We will work to identify a platform with expertise in K12 security to support this effort (We will only use publicly available information for any assessment).

    2. Ensure that there is Wi-Fi coverage throughout the entire school building, including hallways. We will assess this and implement this recommendation as needed.

    3. Expand the Security Operations Center’s (SOC) square footage and create a full-time supervisory position solely dedicated to managing it. We will explore any space issues for the SOC but do not recommend a new position at this time.

    4. Add security personnel coverage to elementary schools. We are revisiting the concept of regional School Security Officers to cover elementary schools within each planning district—something discussed with the previous School Board. We will also bring forward recommendations for hiring Allied Security Officers or Assistant Security Officers in all elementary schools. An assessment of our visitor management protocols should be conducted first. We are not recommending the addition of School Resource Officers to every elementary school at this time.

    1. Create a formal alternative education site to allow for enhanced security measures for high-risk students. We are working to open an alternative education site for secondary students through our budget process in the next school year.

    2. Create a basic cybersecurity/social media best practices and mandate completion for key stakeholders within LCPS. We plan to implement this recommendation.

    3. Assess public safety radio coverage within schools and address any gaps. We will support the county in conducting this assessment.

    4. Increase security personnel coverage for after-school events. Explore flexible scheduling for School Security Officer coverage (note: large events are already covered).

    5. Have the school board label the Division of Safety & Security as a Law Enforcement Unit. We are not recommending this at this time.

    Read the full Blue Ribbon Panel report.

    Blue Ribbon Panelists

    Name

    Organization

    Captain Rob Brown

    Lt. Colonel Gun Lee

    Lt. Mike Safford

    Major Rob Tricarico

    Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office

    Sgt. Damian Moreau

    Leesburg Police Department

    Chief Shaun Jones

    Middleburg Police Department

    Chief Cindy McAlister

    Purcellville Police Department

    Battalion Chief Matt Rovelli

    Assistant Chief James Williams

    Loudoun County Fire Rescue

    Chief Micah Kiger

    Loudoun County Fire Marshal

    Coordinator Kevin Johnson

    Loudoun County Office of Emergency Management

    Coordinator Alex Fitch

    Leesburg Office of Emergency Management

    Director Margaret Graham

    Loudoun County Mental Health

    Protective Security Advisor Joe Kluczynski

    US Department of Homeland Security

    Manager James Christian

    VA Department of Criminal Justice Services

    Additional Panelists for Cyber Security Only

    Name

    Organization

    Director Doug Levin

    K-12 Six

    TBD

    Virginia Fusion Center

    Additional Panelists for Mental Health Only

    Name

    Organization

    CEO Rod Williams

    Williams Center

    Subject Matter Expert (SME) Briefers

    Name

    Organization

    Deputy Assistant Director David Scott

    FBI

    TBD

    FBI

    TBD

    FBI

    Additional LCPS Attendees

    1. Chief of Staff Daniel Smith – LCPS

    2. Chief Technology Officer Aaron Smith – LCPS Cyber Security

    3. Director Bill Wohead – LCPS Facilities

    4. Director Jen Evans – LCPS Mental Health

    5. Director Joan Sahlgren – LCPS Communications

    6. Director John Clark - LCPS Safety & Security

    7. Supervisor Melanie Stephenson – LCPS Threat Assessment

    8. Supervisor Kreg Horst – LCPS Technical Security

    9. Supervisor Warren Pelton – LCPS Safety & Security Operations

    10. Supervisor John Barnett – LCPS Safety & Security Training & EM

    11. Supervisor Dave Blaiklock – LCPS Research & Surveys

    12. Principal Jeff Adam – Heritage High School

    13. Principal Dave Shaffer – River Bend Middle School

    14. Principal Heidi Smith – Hutchinson Farm Elementary School

    15. Supervisor Heather Ross - LCPS School Counseling

    16. Supervisor Heather Applegate - LCPS Diagnostic & Psychological Services

    17. Public Information Officer Dan Adams - LCPS Communications

Safety and Security / Blue Ribbon Panel (2024)
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