The summit will be in the school auditorium at 7 p.m., and the whole county is invited to attend.
Both the city and county school systems recently acquired radio communication devices equipped
with emergency buttons, so Hancock said there will be a demonstration about how the radios work.
“We’re going to be touching on the new communication system and how it impacts the schools,” Hancock said.
“It’s mainly just a (demonstration) of how the schools will notify us in case they’re having an issue. We’re actually going to do a test tomorrow to make sure everything’s functioning on the emergency buttons and go from there.”
Hancock said every city and county school, as well as their main Board of Education offices, received a radio. Though the recent Sandy Hook shooting shook up community members, the schools were already scheduled to receive the radios as part of the new digital communications system.
“We’ve been meeting with the schools about this communication thing for a long time,” he said.
Hancock said he hopes the summit will put to rest some anxieties among the community.
“That’s the whole purpose of the summit: to let the community know that, as emergency responders, the school systems work closely with us, and we’re doing our best to protect their children,” he said. “I have kids in the county (school) system. We all have an invested interest in the community and in the kids that go to these schools.”
The summit — which will feature law enforcement officials, school personnel, Georgia Emergency Management Agency representatives and a local child development spokesman — will discuss recent tragedies in communities across the country and how those events impact law enforcement, schools, parents and children.
Maj. Tommy McGuire with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office will assist Sheriff Tim Burkhalter at the summit. McGuire said the event will be an open forum for community members to listen to officials’ presentations, ask questions and voice their concerns.
Other officials slated to attend the summit include County Police Chief Bill Shiflett; GEMA Regional School Safety Coordinator
Anna Lumpkin; Jerry Jennings, a professor at Berry College and licensed professional counselor; County Schools Superintendent Jeff McDaniel; and County Board of Education Chairman David Johnson.
Shiflett said it will be beneficial to review the Sandy Hook events, but he doesn’t plan to go into detail about the police force’s emergency response strategies, as that information should not be made public. “That’s for our officers’ safety as well as the schools,’” he said.
Lumpkin will lead a discussion of what we, as a nation, have learned about the Sandy Hook school shooting.
She will outline plans the Connecticut school had, what worked and what did not.
Also, Lumpkin will talk about Georgia’s requirements for school safety plans and how GEMA works with the schools.
Jennings will focus on how the tragedies, and adult responses to them, have affected children.
Doug Walker, business editor for the Rome News-Tribune, will moderate the event.
“This is not an education problem, but rather an issue that is brought to our doorstep,” McDaniel said of the horrific shooting incident. “We hope this event begins the discussion of how we move forward as a community.”