On Wednesday, September 25, at approximately 12:26 p.m., the Peekskill City School District in conjunction with the Peekskill Police Department and a BOCES Health and Safety Representative, conducted a live lockdown drill at Peekskill High School to test the District’s emergency response and preparedness. The simulation lasted about one hour and was deemed successful by both the District and the Peekskill Police Department.
“The drill went great,” said Peekskill Police Chief, Eric Johansen. “It was taken very seriously by the students and the faculty. It’s refreshing to see that the school district takes these things so seriously. Our goal is to continue to work together with the school district to provide a safer environment for all of our children to safely attend school.”
The drill simulated an incident involving an active gunman at the high school, and caused the high school to be put on a lockdown while the administration building and maintenance building were placed on a lock-out. The middle and elementary schools were not affected by this drill.
“We are pleased to report that the drill was extremely successful and we appreciate the partnership we have developed with our local law enforcement,” said David Santiago, Peekskill's Director of Security and Investigations. We plan on continuing these exercises throughout the school year and beyond to insure that the safety and security of our District remains a top priority."
The Peekskill Police Department responded to the simulation with officers from their regular day tour. The department’s Tactical Response Unit was also called in to participate.
“We’re testing our own procedures, and our own abilities to mitigate such a circumstance,” Johansen said. “We are very confident in our abilities, but it’s always great to practice these situations to keep our skills sharp.”
The drill came just one day after this notice was posted to the District’s websites.
“The practicing of these drills improves the safety and security of our students and staff,” said the District’s Interim Superintendent, Dr. Lorenzo Licopoli. “The drill went very well and indicates that the work we have done in preparing our staff and students for an emergency has been effective. We are fortunate to have the proactive leadership and professionalism of the Peekskill City Police Department to work with.”