Police & Fire

New Active Shooter Procedures to be Adapted in Montville Twp Schools

03607ebb82aa1edb1276_a_Ptl_Scott_McGowan_explains_A.L.I.C.E._3.JPG
Ptl Scott McGowan explains A.L.I.C.E. Credits: Melissa Benno
9bfea07fed09bb64141f_a_Ptl_Scott_McGowan_explains_A.L.I.C.E._2.JPG
Ptl Scott McGowan explains A.L.I.C.E. Credits: Melissa Benno
03607ebb82aa1edb1276_a_Ptl_Scott_McGowan_explains_A.L.I.C.E._3.JPG

MONTVILLE, NJ – In the past, Montville Township schools have utilized lockdown procedures in the case of a perceived danger event not involving fire. This means that staff and employees have been trained to lock windows and doors and hide students from entrance doors when emergency protocols are invoked. This is referred to as a “lockdown.” It is used, for example, in the event that an unauthorized person has gained access to a school, such as if an active shooter situation occurred.

However, research shows that more can be done to ensure safety, so the district is adding to the lockdown procedure, training students and employees in what is known as “A.L.I.C.E.”

A.L.I.C.E. stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate, and according to experts, this procedure increases the chance of survival in the event of an active shooter scenario.

Sign Up for E-News

Patrolman Scott McGowan of the Montville Township Police Department has made several presentations at parent-teacher organization meetings across the district, including a meeting held May 24 at MTHS.

McGowan stressed that the new procedure will not replace the lockdown procedure but be an enhancement. Since the 2014 emergency button press lockdown at MTHS that resulted in the county’s SWAT team response but was a false alarm (see TAPinto Montville’s article here: False Alarm), changes have been made to decrease false alarms while improving safety, such as installing non see-through film in the cafeteria windows at the school.

The “alert” portion of the acronym involves giving more information about the problem than before. A lockdown used to be announced with a simple message, but A.L.I.C.E. procedures recommend using more specific information, such as, “intruder in front of the office,” or similar, McGowan said. This will allow those in the farthest portions of the building to make different decisions, he said.

The “lockdown” idea has changed too, McGowan said. Instead of simply locking the door, further barricade methods should be involved, such as placing all the desks in the room against the door. This makes a time barrier as well, he said.

“Informing” is important too, McGowan said, because of the fluidity of the situation. Reliable information via text or other methods has to keep flowing.

McGowan said to “counter” the shooter with chaos and distraction. If all of the students are huddled in the corner when he or she enters, the students are easy targets. But distraction, chaos and movement are needed to stay safe.

“This is a last resort, but if somebody comes into your classroom, you’ve got to do something,” McGowan said. “Throw books! We don’t want yelling if we’re in lockdown, but just if the shooter enters.”

“Evacuate” is the last portion of the acronym.

“Movement and distance are your best friends,” McGowan said. “The farther you can get away, the less likely you are to be shot, or to be killed from a shot. You’re making yourself a harder target.”

However, McGowan cautioned against using a vehicle to evacuate, because police need to identify the occupants before allowing it to leave, diverting them from school protection.

“Evacuation should be done using the enhanced information we discussed,” McGowan said. “You shouldn’t be leaving your classroom using the front door if it’s been announced that the shooter is right outside of it.”

McGowan assured parents that those who have left the building would eventually be accounted for.

“I have two children myself,” he said. “The waiting will be terrible but trust me, you’ll find them.”

He said that special education classrooms would have accommodations to set up barricading variations. He said the meeting point for parents and students is a highly unlikely point for the shooters to retry their attack because of the heavy police presence. He said fire drills typically take five minutes to evacuate the entire building, so it should not be a problem that the innocent students and staff will get in the way of police apprehending the suspects. He advised everyone evacuating to have empty hands with no black cell phones just in case.

“We’re not advising someone to go wrestle someone with a gun in the hallway,” McGowan said. “Countering is a last resort. If someone comes into our classroom with a gun, we need to do something as opposed to nothing.”

McGowan has completed presentations to the faculty in each building. The training will continue as each school conducts drills on the A.L.I.C.E. approach beginning in the fall. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Montville

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_d0da896932290d3669b0_img_6739

Mon, June 25, 7:00 PM

Senior House, Montville

Montville Republican Club Meeting

Government

Tue, June 26, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Storytime

Education

Carousel_image_6e3a289818ebcee32c37_logo

Wed, June 27, 7:30 PM

Montville Reformed Church, Montville

Transition to Puberty: Pathways Seminar

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_6fd4572dde59fc8d2117_a_pyramid_mountain__2018_tapinto_montville___2.

Sat, June 30, 9:30 AM

Pyramid Mountain, Montville Township

Wonderful Wildlife Hike

Health & Wellness

Tue, July 3, 10:00 AM

Montville Township Public Library, Montville

Storytime

Education

County Clerk Bringing Passport & Notary Offices to Lincoln Park June 28

June 24, 2018

LINCOLN PARK, NJ – The Morris County Clerk’s Passport Division is taking its passport operation on the road to Lincoln Park on Thursday, June 28 to make it more convenient for residents of the borough and towns in northeast Morris County to obtain passports.

There also will be an opportunity for new notaries to be commissioned or for existing notaries to obtain commission renewals.

Four Montville Residents Participate in American Legion Jersey Boys State Leadership Program

June 21, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ - Four young men from Montville Township are among 883 other rising-seniors from New Jersey attending the 73rd session of the annual American Legion Jersey Boys State (ALJBS.)

At the event, taking place at Rider University this week, the students get to "govern and interact with their peers from across New Jersey as they run their own mythical 51st ...

Skype Brings Holocaust Survivor and Italian Historian to Montville Township High School Genocide Studies Classes

June 23, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – Max Calfo’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies class Skyped a Holocaust survivor in Connecticut and a historian in Rome at Montville Township High School on Wednesday, June 13. The students spoke with the guests about events of the Holocaust that occurred in Poland and Italy respectively.

Holocaust survivor Mira Binford, originally from Bedzin, Poland, ...

Hot Rod Show in Roxbury Raises Money for Boy With Brain Disease

June 21, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ - They came from all over North Jersey to show off their chromed-out, big V8s. By day's end, they'd raised big bucks for a sick boy.

The annual North Jersey Street Rod Association (NJSRA) Father's Day Rod Run took place under sunny skies at Horseshoe Lake Park in Roxbury on Sunday. The charity event drew about 1,300 spectators and raised "a little ...

Former Jefferson School Staffer Facing Criminal Charges For Alleged Lewd Photos of Students

June 22, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - A former Jefferson Elementary School paraprofessional has been charged with criminal behavior believed to be related to lewd photos of students at the school that were found on his cell phone after he was arrested in Morris County on an unrelated sexual charge.

It also appears that South Orange Maplewood School District officials knew about the arrests as early as ...

Morris County Chamber Issues Statement About State Budget Negotiations and Proposed Tax Increases

June 21, 2018

MORRIS COUNTY, NJ - Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, yesterday issued the following statement on the budget negotiations in Trenton:

“Individuals and businesses are shouldering a significant tax burden already in our state. Raising taxes sends a signal to our employers and future investors that New Jersey will remain uncompetitive for decades ...

Columns

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/23 - 6/24, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX Neighborhood Properties this weekend.

SATURDAY, June 23, 2018

  From 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

  102 Magnolia Road, Unit 3, Ramsey

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

  From 12 - 3 p.m.

  150 Barrister Drive, Butler

   Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, ...

OPEN HOUSES This Weekend 6/16 - 6/17, 2018

The following homes have OPEN HOUSES presented by RE/MAX NEIGHBORHOOD PROPERTIES this weekend.

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018:

  From 12 - 2 p.m.

  201 English Place, Bernards Township

  Click HERE to see full listing.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018:

  From 1 - 3 p.m.

  170 Morris Avenue, Mountain Lakes

  Click HERE to see full ...

Open Houses this Weekend by Century 21

MONTVILLE, NJ - Following are the Century 21 Open Houses for this weekend:

Saturday, June 23 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at Fairfield, Stonybrook Circle (Using GPS - Enter 66 Two Bridges Road)
3 Louis Drive, Montville

Sunday, June 24 from 12 - 3 p.m.

6 Woodside Drive, Montville Township

Sunday, June 24 from 1 - 4 p.m.

Brownstones at ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

Pet Corner