Wilmington Police Department hosts school security seminar

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Members of the Wilmington Police Department gave a presentation on school security to school and daycare providers Tuesday.

According to Jennifer Dandron with the WPD, it was one of three sessions on security the department had planned since the beginning of the year. The first session was a presentation to churches and houses of faith, and the next one will be to businesses. Dandron didn't have a date for the business session.

More than 100 providers signed up to attend the session Tuesday afternoon at UNCW.

Maurica Bennett, the director of Kids & Company, was one of those in attendance.

"We have a lot of security things in place here, but anytime I can know anything more, especially directly from the police department, I definitely want to know," she said.

Bennett said Kids & Company has locks on the front door and a keypad to gain entrance. There are also cameras in every classroom and on the playground.

In light of the deadly Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and recent threats made at New Hanover County Schools, Bennett said she wants to do everything possible to protect the kids at her daycare.

"It's sad that we have to think about these things. We have to think about somebody coming into the facility that may not have the best intentions for the children," Bennet said. "On the other hand, it's like, we know what we're doing and what we have to deal with and we're going to set the facility up as best as we know how."

According to Lieutenant Kelvin Hargrove, who was involved in Tuesday's presentation, the teachers and daycare providers should be equipped with the most knowledge possible.

"The threat is real, but it's rare," Hargrove said. "I have kids that go to schools and I want my kids to be protected, so I want the people protecting my kids to be more equipped with the knowledge of how to engage or involve themselves with an active shooter so my kids can be safe as well.

"Don't wait to get slaughtered," Hargrove added.

The department offers a free assessment of any property, where officers will let people know what they can do to better protect their property. Contact the Wilmington Police Department for information about how to register.

WPD officials discussed the Department of Homeland Security's active shooter safety guidelines, building security information and developing safety protocols.

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