School violence has become all too common in our state and throughout the nation. Recent school attacks have created uncertainty about the safety and security of our schools. In 2014, to address this concern, the Oregon State Legislature enacted House Bill 4087, establishing the Oregon Task Force on School Safety, bringing together representatives from police, fire, school administration, teachers, school boards and service districts, along with the Governor’s education and public safety policy advisors, and legislators. With these key stakeholders at the
table the Task Force began its work on accomplishing the three objectives set forth in HB 4087:
- Develop a request for proposal to create a database of floorplans for all schools within the state, accessible to authorized users via the Internet.
- Examine models of existing education and training programs for law-enforcement officials, other first responders and school employees in the
areas of school safety and incident response.
- Examine models for existing protocols for school safety and incident response and consider whether standardized statewide school safety and
incident response protocols would be appropriate.
The Oregon Task Force on School Safety began meeting in August 2014. Within the first four months of convening, there were 10 shooting incidents at schools in the United States — in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Washington, Oklahoma and Oregon, at Rosemary Anderson High in Portland. This does not include the shooting at Reynolds High in Troutdale, Oregon in June 2014. Incidents since then include the October 2015 tragedy at Umpqua Community College, which resulted in 10 dead (including the shooter). It is clear that the need for consistent, statewide school safety measures has reached a critical level.
If there are any questions we recommend contacting the Oregon State Police Executive Assistant, Mindy McCartt at 503-934-0234 or by emailing the chamber.