BISMARCK, N.D. - The Bismarck Police Department requested $25,000 in the 2019 Bismarck budget to help fund safes at schools that only school resource officers could get into.
Inside the safe would be an emergency kit in case of an active shooter. They could make an appearance at middle schools and high schools in Bismarck next year if approved.
BPD and the school district are taking a proactive approach after the Parkland shooting earlier this year.
Per school, the safes would have one rifle, a ballistic carrier, which is basically a police vest that can protect officers from a rifle gun shot. And, a bleeding control kit.
After visiting with leaders on both sides of this initiative, they say the safe is secure and only school officers will have access to it.
The bleeding control kit would have multiple tourniquets, gauzes and things officers could easily get to if someone had a gunshot wound.
"Hopefully we never find ourselves in a situation of an active shooter. But if we do, we really want to make sure that our SRO's are equipped with the tools that they need to do their job effectively," said Becky LaBella, BPS safety coordinator:
She says prevention is the first step but being ready for any situation is also vital.
"We've trained our patrol officers and our SRO's that they have to deal with a school shooting immediately. There's no waiting for a special team or anything like that," Bismarck Police Lt. Jason Stugelmeyer.
Stugelmeyer says adding these kits to schools will help their response time. He says the safes will be quick to access for the school resource officers.
"The safe's gonna obviously be a hardened safe that is not going to be easily accessible. But, there are going to be behind a second locked door or security area," said Stugelmeyer.
He says safety is important at all school levels. But the reason the safes would go only in the middle schools and high schools is because statistically that is where the most threats are across the nation.
Stugelmeyer does say that he is working closely with the schools to get a separate grant to put the medical kits at all the schools across the district.
The funding for the safes has not been approved yet, but he says there's a high likelyhood it would pass.