Earlier this month, Tennessee Homeland Security and Safety Commissioner David Purkey announced that the first-ever state review at all 1,800 schools is underway.
Purkey is leading a working group to address school security, formed after the shooting earlier this year in Parkland, Florida. The first priority of that working group is to conduct a vulnerability assessment of all Tennessee schools, WKRN reports. The Homeland Security Department training focuses on local educators and law enforcement personnel from each school.
“It’s best for local governments to do this. They know their schools best,” Purkey says. “They will put eyes on the schools themselves. They will look at the vulnerability of those schools – facility assessments, what may be lacking, what equipment may be (needed).”
The assessment will determine which schools throughout the state need more school resource officers (SROs), and the working group will develop a 24-hour app for students to reach out about any suspicions in school privately.
$35 million is reserved for school security improvements in the coming year. School districts will be given grants depending on the outcome of an application for requested upgrades.