You may have noticed that BCS is going above and beyond to make our campus as safe as possible. Our BCS Chief Security Officer, Wayne Marks has been working diligently with the Austin Police Department (APD), Department of Homeland Security, Austin Regional Intelligence Center (ARIC), and even the FBI to develop a safety strategy for our campus. You might ask why this is necessary since our campus is tucked away and so close-knit? To quote Mr. Marks, “There cannot be a higher priority than providing the highest level of safety for our students and staff here on the Brentwood Christian School campus. Although, we can never provide 100% assurance of complete safety we can nonetheless be forever diligent and never ceasing in our efforts to be vigilant and highly responsive to any event requiring our action.”
Over the summer while the students were enjoying the warm weather and time off, the APD ran active shooter exercises on campus. This activity ended up being a win win! APD was looking for a new location to practice these exercises and it enabled the teams who are called to these events to really familiarize themselves with our campus. Of course it is our sincerest hope and continued prayer that we will never need to call upon the men and women in blue for this reason but it is comforting to know that they know our campus well.
The next step in partnering with the APD was to create a police lounge on campus. When asked how this idea came about Mr. Marks stated, “The idea came about through discussions with ARIC and APD on how to develop a closer relationship with local law enforcement. We came up with the idea of an on campus lounge to help foster personal connections between our BCS community and the APD Officers who work in this area. Having an APD presence on campus not only provides a crime deterrent but also gives us the opportunity to interact with these officers on a daily basis.”
On Wednesday, December 12th we unveiled the new APD lounge to two police officers who were just beside themselves! The first thing these men noticed is that APD officers will have their very own parking spots. They thought that was just the neatest thing and could not help but snap a few photos to show the rest of the department. Once inside they were amazed at the level of comfort they had.
The lounge, located inside the Center for Science and Arts, has chairs, a table, a mini fridge, a coffee maker, and a bunch of thank you notes and posters from the students. Our very own Mrs. Penny Hagen made sure the room was stocked with snacks and drinks for the officers to enjoy. She even offered to take personal requests for favorite snacks and drinks for the department.
Now these men and women who sacrifice so much for their community will have a warm place to come fill out their paperwork. They will have clean restrooms, snacks, and a place to sit and rest. These are comforts we all enjoy daily while at school and work. They can, and often are, taken for granted by us on a daily basis.
When asked about future security Mr. Marks stated, “We are committed to a process of continuous improvement when it comes to critical response procedures and campus security policies. We are continuing to work with APD, ARIC, FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to develop and refine these policies and procedures, as well as receiving direct “real life” training from our safety/security partners.”
We have an amazing community one we want to keep as safe as humanly possible. We know each of you will make our newest community members in blue feel right at home here at BCS.
It’s a great day to be a Brentwood Bear!
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