The Cherry Creek School District and all of its schools conduct safety drills on a regular basis. Some are familiar, like fire or tornado drills, and some are more unusual, like the “Food Defense Tabletop Exercise” that took place on Oct. 6 at the Instructional Support Facility.
“Cherry Creek is the first district in the state to test the food defense emergency policies, which are now required by the Department of Education,” said Randy Councell, Director of Safety and Security for Cherry Creek Schools.
The exercise brought together experts from a wide range of organizations, including the school district, area hospitals, local and state health departments, police, fire and sheriff’s departments, the State Patrol, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Agriculture.
Together, they worked through a fictional scenario in which a domestic terrorist group had secretly contaminated food at a processing plant, which eventually made thousands of people ill.
The purpose of the exercise was to highlight the importance of food defense emergency policies and enhance the ability of local and state agencies to respond to a major food contamination event.
“Holding safety drills and tabletop exercises like this one ensures that the district and the community and government agencies we work with are prepared to respond to any type of emergency and ensure the safety of our students and staff,” said Dr. Scott Siegfried, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Support Services.