BEVERLY HILLS UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES VETERAN PEACE OFFICERS TO LAUNCH NEW SAFETY PROGRAM TO PROTECT SCHOOL CHILDREN
‘Campus Safety Program’ Officers to Assess Threats, Prevent Violence and Serve as First Responders in BHUSD On-Campus Emergencies
“The safety of our schools is the priority for getting this done”
December 17, 2013 (Beverly Hills, CA) The Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education has approved an innovative new safety and mental health program that will be implemented at all five public schools in the Beverly Hills Unified School District when students return from Winter break in January 2014.
“Today’s unfortunate reality is that we need to take a strong stance against the increasing violence occurring on school campuses,” said Jake Manaster, former President of the BHUSD Board of Education (2012-2013). “The safety of our schools is the priority for getting this done. EBI’s program not only provides uniquely experienced Campus Security Officers on our campuses — including one of our own in 32-year Beverly Hills Police Department veteran Joe Chirillo who will be overseeing this program — it is roughly half the cost of our old program. In these days of tight budgets, the opportunity to ensure that this high level of experience is covering our campuses at a reduced rate, was simply too good to pass up.”
The new Campus Safety Program includes six Campus Safety Officers (CSOs), employed by Evidence-Based Inc., in Irvine, California. All six CSOs have extensive training, either with law enforcement or the military, and will work directly with the school site administrators and police to identify and assess threats, prevent violence from occurring, and respond quickly and decisively if and when incidents occur. “We applaud the BHUSD Board of Education for taking this bold step to prevent violence in their classrooms and campuses,” said John McLaughlin, a former Southern California police officer who is EBI’s president and CEO. McLaughlin also holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. He added, “Although the new school year is just a few months old, incidents locally, regionally and nationally prove that we don’t have the luxury of sitting on our hands. As a society, we need to take strong, decisive action that addresses security on school campuses as well as the growing need to provide mental health services to troubled youth, and the Beverly Hills Unified School District has done just that.”
The new program collaborates with schools and law enforcement agencies in creating and implementing comprehensive campus-safety plans. In addition, it provides onsite, specially trained safety officers to augment schools’ existing safety personnel, as well as mental health resources and other services.
Evidence-Based Incorporated comprises expert managers in the fields of school policing, training, gang and narcotics enforcement, and tactical response situations. After serving as a police officer for nearly 15 years, McLaughlin founded EBI in 2003. The company provides comprehensive evidence-based risk-assessment services and systems that help the courts, police agencies and municipalities do their jobs better, faster and more cost-effectively.
Through EBI, the Campus Safety Program seamlessly draws upon the resources of an in-house investigative response team when threats require additional follow-up in order to determine if additional law enforcement intervention is required. Campus Safety Officers are extensively trained in responding to all types of crisis situations that can occur on school campuses, working closely with local law enforcement agencies as well as schools’ staff members. CSOs receive extensive training through new curriculum developed and taught as part of EBI’s partnership with Golden West College’s acclaimed Criminal Justice Training Center in Huntington Beach. “The training we provide is comprehensive and designed to thoroughly prepare Campus Safety Officers for virtually any kind of incident that arises,” said Ron Lowenberg, a former police chief and current dean of the Criminal Justice Training Center. “But we also place a very strong emphasis on teaching officers how to identify and work with troubled children. Recognizing warning signs in at-risk children – and then getting them to the services they need, from counseling to arrest, if necessary – is essential in our efforts to prevent violence in our schools.”
Serving with McLaughlin on the executive team are:
Vice President Joseph Chirillo, a 32-year veteran of the Beverly Hills Police Department. Lt. Chirillo’s tenure included a wide array of assignments, from patrol officer, to crime prevention sergeant, to detective bureau commander. As supervisor of the department’s team of school resource officers, Chirillo wrote and implemented the department’s comprehensive school safety plan, which includes bomb threat protocols and lockdown procedures for the Beverly Hills Unified School District. He also ran a statewide training center that certified more than 200 DARE officers and school resource officers.
Vice President Jess Gilman, a 27-year veteran of Costa Mesa Police Department and California’s 2008 School Resource Officer of the Year. Gilman holds a degree in psychology from Long Beach State University. Gilman also served as a trainer for the Orange County Department of Education as part of their School/Law Enforcement Partnership teaching a Crisis Response for Schools module.
Vice President Mike Colver, a 31-year veteran from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Lt. Colver has vast experience including patrol, corrections, crime prevention, background investigations, intelligence collection and analysis, narcotics and gangs. He retired as bureau commander of the Courts Operations Division. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Long Beach State University, and supervised the team that acquired the first two-gang injunction in California.
To learn more about the Campus Safety Program, visit http://www.ebinc.com. For more information about the Beverly Hills Unified School District, visit http://www.bhusd.org.
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