GEMA/Homeland Security rolls out new school security program

school zone signSchool zone sign (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) announced they have developed a new program to help schools identify vulnerabilities to improve the level of safety at their facilities.

The Courier reached out to the Cobb County School District about whether CCSD intended to utilize the program, and a school district spokesperson responded, “We appreciate GEMA’s support and partnership, staff will be reviewing this program to better understand if and how it could keep our high school staff and students safer.”

A press release from GEMA/HS announcing the program described it as follows:

School zone sign (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)The Site Threat Access and Response (STAR) Audit is designed to give requesting entities a fair and unbiased evaluation of physical security measures and threat response protocols. Conducted by the Homeland Security Division of GEMA/HS, STAR Audits may be requested by an authorized party of any entity.

The pilot project for the program was implements at the Brooks County Public Schools.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Brooks County Schools for giving us an opportunity to demonstrate how the Audit can work on this level,” said GEMA/HS Homeland Security Coordinator Casey Cope in the press release. “It’s because they were willing to try it and see how it worked for them that we’re able to offer this service to the state as a whole.”

Schools or school systems can request an audit by contacting their local local area Homeland Security Coordinator.

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