WACO (October 24, 2013) Waco ISD school board members voted on an updated emergency operations plan for the district Thursday night.
Texas requires each school district in the state to have one in place, however the plans don't have to be updated each year.
Many districts in Texas have beefed up safety precautions in the wake of recent school shootings, but the last time Waco ISD adopted an emergency operations plan was in 2010.
Waco ISD Chief of Police Ken Boatman reviewed the plan this year and found that it was outdated, too generic, and lacked specifics.
“When we looked at the old plan, I saw that we could be doing things a whole lot better,” Boatman said.
If a crisis were to take place, Boatman said under the old plan an incident commander would take charge and delegate tasks to whomever he saw fit. Under the old plan, precious seconds during an emergency would have been wasted.
“You might end up assigning a person a role who isn't comfortable doing said role or may have no idea how to do it efficiently,” Boatman said.
Boatman took the helm of the process of creating a new emergency plan and presented it to board members for approval Thursday night.
Under the new plan, seven categories or responsibilities were created for the district's departments in the event of a crisis, maintenance, health services, human services, evacuation, finance, public information, and recovery.
Each responsibility or category has already been assigned to an administrator who spent time with Boatman creating a “job description” for their respective responsibilities.
“We now know that we have a person that will be totally comfortable filling certain roles during a crisis and will be knowledgeable about that role and there's no guesswork on our end," Boatman said.
The plan needed change Boatman calls crucial.
"Safety is paramount, and I think we're as prepared as we're ever going to be because we’re not putting it on the back burner.”