School, Police Put Training Plan to the Test

ELLSWORTH — Doors were locked and students and staff hid in secure areas at Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School Monday until police arrived and told them it was safe to come out.

Though the exercise was only a drill, there was a certain degree of urgency to the practice event held less than a month after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The presence of uniformed officers also added a degree of realism absent from previous drills, according to Principal Jim Newett.

About 20 police officers participated in the drill. Police Chief John DeLeo said Ellsworth officers were joined by personnel from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and Maine State Police, as well as one officer from the Bar Harbor Police Department.

Classroom staff used whatever space was available to hide their students until officers arrived, unlocked the door and told them it was safe to come out.

“We’ve done this in the past, but in light of the Connecticut shooting that made it closer to home, of course,” Newett said. “There was a greater sense of, ‘Let’s be as ready as we can be.’”

For more police & court news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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