Connect with us


Bristol County Sheriff’s Office hosts training for Fall River school security team



Members of the Fall River Public Schools’ security team listen during a recent class during a training session administered by the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office’s Department of Homeland Security. [Photo courtesy of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office]

FALL RIVER — There are still a few weeks left to summer vacation, but the Fall River Public Schools and the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office are already looking ahead to the 2019-20 school year.

Members of the BCSO Homeland Security team recently completed a two-week training for the schools’ security team. The training, led by BCSO Col. David Gavigan and Capt. William Camara, covered topics like bag searches, first aid, gang education, communications, drug awareness, defensive tactics, cultural diversity, report writing, and case studies of historically significant school shootings such as Columbine. The training concluded in late July with a mock bomb drill in which the security team had to work together to coordinate a response and search for a bomb threat at a school.

“The goal is safer schools,” said Fall River Public Schools Operations Director Joe Correia, who contacted Col. Gavigan and Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson to request the training. “With security, we try to be as proactive as we can.”

Correia met with Col. Gavigan and shared some concerns and ideas for topics and focus points for the training sessions. Col. Gavigan and Capt. Camara then developed from scratch the training program, which was held at Durfee High School at the end of July.

“If there’s anything we can do to make a school safer for the students and staff, we’ll do it,” Col. Gavigan said. “The Fall River schools’ security team does an amazing job. It was a pleasure to work with them this summer.”

Several departments within the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the training program. K9 Officer Kenny Almeida and his partner Will are certified by the ATF in detecting explosive components, and they assisted in the section about bomb threats and searches. Lt. Robert Matos and Sgt. Moses Isidoro of the BCSO training division led the workshop on defensive tactics. Sgt. Jaime Salgado helped with the Incident Command Center, which was used during the bomb detection drill as a headquarters for respoders, and Risk Assessment Clinician Kelly Sousa led a class on suicide awareness.

“I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from the security team from the training. They thought it was very valuable and was really hands-on,” Correia said.

The Fall River schools’ security team will also receive training from the Fall River Police Department in its continuing effort to boost the knowledge and awareness of the security team members.

“If there’s an incident, it’s the FRPD who’s going to respond, so training with the Police Department will be very helpful,” Correia said.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Robertoes

    August 1, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    I thought Willy was a Major? Why the demotion? The taxpayers deserve transparency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Copyright © 2017 Fall River Reporter