So. Miami Police consider emergency plans
SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. (WSVN) -- One police department in South Florida is using the tragedy in Newtown to be proactive.
The South Miami Police Department is already putting together a blueprint for safety.
It's a fear every parent and teacher has thought about: What if what happened in Connecticut happens here? "It is hitting home that it might happen here, it could happen here," said South Miami Police officer Al Alvarez.
It's hitting home so much that South Miami Police visited a daycare Wednesday at the request of the owner. They detailed a plan should a shooter come on campus, a bomb go off, a fire erupt or other emergency happen on campus. Alvarez said they worked on "certain evacuation plans, certain ways to secure yourself, common sense stuff."
Police started this effort in September. But since the school shootings on Friday, it's taken on an even more urgent effort. They have received four requests to visit schools since then alone. "I am glad they are doing it," said Dawn Jones, a parent. "It makes me feel safer."
Police want to be prepared before they even get there. They are now in the process of collecting the blueprints of all daycare centers, schools, hospitals, the Shops At Sunset Place and even the Metro-rail stations.
South Miami Police Major Rene Landa said the the blueprint information will be available in all police cruisers with a laptop computer. "Easy access," he said. "They will have it straight to the police car, and they will be able to pull that up."
The blueprints will be loaded into laptops in squad cars so officers know the entrances and exits before they arrive at the scene of the emergency.
Alvarez said, "Everybody here involved has to have a plan, from the parents, who they want to contact, who they should call, from the local police department to the school system."
They're hoping being prepared will give police an extra layer of defense.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)