COPPERAS COVE — School officials met with area police and fire departments Tuesday to discuss safety and crisis response preparedness.

Attendees included principals and staff from the district schools, as well as representatives from the city police and fire departments. The group gathered at S.C. Lee Junior High School to discuss strategies and possible crisis scenarios such as an active shooter.

“Our goal today was to make our staff think, because they will be the ones on staff when a crisis occurs,” said Rick Kirkpatrick, deputy superintendent of operations and support for the Copperas Cove Independent School District.

Police assist the district with security needs, including providing a school resource officer at Copperas Cove High School.

Sgt. Martin Ruiz, a spokesman for the Cove Police Department, said the meeting and discussion were productive.

“Basically, this was a discussion about what would happen and how we would respond,” Ruiz said.

The partnership between the district and police was tested in late December when three Cove ISD schools faced a spate of bomb threats.

The hoax caused evacuations of Cove’s high schools and junior high schools, causing missed school days and an increase in security at the district’s campuses.

Ruiz said the incident was, in part, a catalyst for the discussion Tuesday.

“That’s what started this discussion. ... There were some issues,” Ruiz said. “Overall, the (discussion) has been good.”

Kirkpatrick agreed.

“We learn a lesson every time we evacuate,” he said.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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