In the wake of school shooting tragedies throughout the nation, such as the one that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018, the safety of students, faculty and staff remains a top priority for the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office and the Whitesboro Central School District along with all schools in our region. A powerful and eye-opening safety training presentation by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission (MSDPSC), brought to our area by the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, was held in the Whitesboro High School Auditorium and the MSDPSC discussed their investigative findings as well as their recommendations and system improvements.

The training presentation was conducted by Sergeant John Suess of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, and topics of discussion included: the background of K-12 active-assailant incidents; an overview of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter and the shooting itself; 911 and radio communications; law enforcement and emergency medical response to the shooting; and school safety issues.

The presentation was specifically geared towards law enforcement personnel, school resource officers, special patrol officers, 911 dispatchers, fire and EMS personnel, school superintendents, principals, teachers, and other school staff. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission was formed following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, 2018, to analyze the shooting as well as other mass-casualty incidents, and to recommend improvements in law enforcement, mental health and school safety.