U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

School Walk-Throughs

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 56 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2008 Pages: 84-86
David Webb
Date Published
June 2008
3 pages
This article describes the School Familiarization Program (SFP) developed by the Hanover Park Police Department (Illinois) in order to supplement the current police training plan for a school-related violent incident.
The SFP incrementally increases an officer’s working knowledge of the interior layout of the schools in his/her jurisdiction. Such a working knowledge would be valuable during a response to a violent school incident, such as an active shooter or intruder in the school. This knowledge would facilitate the officer’s rapid, efficient, and tactical movement inside the school in countering a perpetrator. The SFP calls for beat officers to conduct foot patrols through all the schools within their assigned beat. Since the beats rotate monthly, over the course of the year, an officer will walk through all the schools in the town numerous times. Officers sign in at the school’s front desk just as any other visitor would be required to do. They introduce themselves and state the purpose of their visit to the school. They then walk the interior of the building in learning the school’s basic layout. Hard-copy maps of every school in the town are stored in the on-duty supervisor’s squad car. The availability of the quick-reference maps coupled with the knowledge of the interior layout of the school is intended to improve the police response to a school incident. The SFP is but one component of the Hanover Park Police Department’s training for responding to a school incident. Other components are training of all personnel in rapid deployment response and tactics, supplying officers with the equipment necessary to respond effectively to a school incident, training school personnel in prevention and response measures, and conducting departmentwide drills to test the department’s readiness.