From: Lieutenant Chris Kelly
Date: February 27, 2013
Subject: School Safety Check Initiative
On February 27, 2013, the Lynn Police Department, in
conjunction with the Lynn Public School Department, the Essex County Sheriff’s
Department, and other law enforcement agencies conducted a school safety check
of the three public high schools in Lynn: Lynn English, Lynn Classical, and Lynn
Vocational and Technical Institute. The “School Safety Check” program is
conducted at the request of the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Catherine C.
Latham. Chief Kevin F. Coppinger of the Lynn Police Department oversees the
police effort which is coordinated and implemented under the direction of: Sgt.
Richard Carrow, supervisor of the Lynn Drug Task Force, Lieutenant Michael Vail,
supervisor of the Lynn Police Youth Services Unit, Officer Robert Ferrari,
School Security and Emergency Planning Liaison and Captain Shane Elhers and
Lieutenant Thomas Cote, Essex County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit supervisors.
The objective of this program, now in its fifth year, is to assist in keeping the Lynn Public Schools safe, orderly and drug free and convey to the students in the strongest possible terms that neither school authorities nor law enforcement agencies will tolerate illicit drugs or other scent detectable contraband on school property. The Lynn Public Schools and the Lynn Police Department have collectively assumed the responsibility of keeping our schools drug free and to ensure that the safety and well being of all students and staff while on school property is met.
An announcement that a school safety check was being
conducted allowed for the students to remain in their classrooms and continue
classroom activity while the checks were taking place. Teams comprised of three
K-9 officers, a Lynn Police Officer, a member of the Lynn Drug Task Force and a
school department administrator systematically checked proscribed areas for the
presence of narcotics and weapons. The trained K-9 dogs being led by their
handlers conducted checks in the hallways of the schools with particular
attention paid to school lockers, common areas, cafeterias, bathrooms, and
gymnasiums. This year was the first year where school administrators had random
classrooms searched that were previously cleared of all students and faculty.
There was also a K-9 that specialized in searching for guns that was utilized in
The school safety check included over 4,000 lockers checked at the three high schools. There were no narcotics or weapons found during the search of the three schools. The K-9 officers involved in the search included the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Department, Revere Police Department and Saugus Police Department.