Springfield Board of School Directors has hired Sgt. Michael Vaughan as the Director of School Safety. The primary responsibilities of this position will include the ongoing evaluation of the district's school safety policies and protocols and the implementation of any subsequent recommendations for staff and student training, emergency procedures and communications, and resource management. "The School Board continues to examine this issue, meeting with experts in the field and taking measures to help ensure the safety of our students. Although there remain issues that we, as a school board, cannot discuss publicly, please know that we have taken a methodical approach to addressing this sensitive issue. Sgt. Vaughan brings a wealth of experience and invaluable expertise to the position," notes Dr. Jennifer Lofland, School Board President.
Superintendent Anthony Barber adds, "The decision to petition the court to designate the Director of School Safety to carry a firearm is not an easy decision to make, but, the world is changing, and we need to change with it. Sgt. Vaughan is the right person at the right time, who, along with our continued police walk-throughs, is paramount in safeguarding our students and staff. We are excited for the Director of School Safety to begin. Sgt. Vaughan will help us to evaluate where we are and where we can improve in such a critical part of the organization."
The Springfield Board of School Directors and district administration has met with the FBI and Springfield Chief of Police, John Daly, among others. Springfield Chief of Police John Daly states, "The members of the School Board have continually expressed a deep concern about the safety of our children and school faculty members. These safety concerns resulted in meaningful and constructive dialogue with local, state, and federal security experts. These in-depth conversations led to the conclusion that the district required the services of a full time security expert with the proper credentials, qualifications, and proven expertise to provide guidance for improving the physical safety and structural security of every school building. After careful deliberations, Michael Vaughan was found to possess the mandatory qualifications. More importantly, during an extensive interview his desire and passion to provide for the safety of all was self-evident. On reflection, it is as though Michael Vaughan's entire professional career has been preparing him for this critical role in making our schools as safe as possible."
Sgt. Vaughan has an extensive background in law enforcement and emergency management. Chief Daly elaborates, "During his distinguished career, Michael Vaughan obtained his master degree in Public Safety. Additionally, he attained the highest level of certification in the Federal (NIMS) National Incident Management System, which uniquely qualifies him as an Emergency Management Specialist. Based on his knowledge and experience, he was appointed as the Deputy Emergency Operations Manager for the Township and has served in a leadership role as the Deputy Commander in the Incident Command Center during major incidents. Sgt. Vaughan has also served as the Team Leader on the Central Delaware County Emergency Response Team and is well versed in defensive and offensive tactics. He has received certifications in Building and School Security and was directly involved in the development and implementation of the Police Departments Emergency Response plans for school incidents."
As a community member and father to Springfield graduates and a current SHS student, Sgt. Vaughan views this position as another way to serve the community, as he has for the last 26 years as a member of the Springfield Police Department. "My goal is a safer school environment for our students. I hope to work with the school district to educate students, staff, and parents and to minimize the potential for a crisis."
Dr. Lofland states, "The safety and education of our students are our top priorities. Sgt. Vaughan's skill and knowledge will enhance and extend the district's existing policies, procedures, and training." Sgt. Vaughan will start in this position in spring 2018.