EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 25, 2014

Salem school safety idea gets national attention

SALEM — Salem police and Salem School District administrators met after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy to discuss ways to make Salem schools safer.

School Resource Officer Matthew Norcross had an idea to place an older, unused police radio in each school for the purpose of communicating a life-threatening emergency to police, thereby initiating an immediate response by police personnel.

Police Chief Paul Donovan was in full support of the idea and, with the cooperative efforts of the Salem School District, quickly implemented the program in Salem.

In April, Norcross met Michelle Gay, one of the founders of Safe and Sound Securing Our Schools: A Sandy Hook Initiative, and mother of Josephine Grace, who was one of the young victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Norcross shared with Gay the safety procedures in Salem schools and she loved it asking if she could publish Salem’s idea on her website.

Salem’s idea can now be found on the Safe and Sound Schools website, safeandsoundschools.org, under the section Education – Inspiring Ideas.

Norcross has personally shared Salem’s procedure with other police agencies from around New England and is very excited to have his idea shared on a national level.

The Concord Police Department recently adopted the safety procedure and will be implementing it for the next school year.

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