Walker school gets emergency buckets ‘to be prepared’

Kent County

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — A Walker elementary school will soon be better equipped to respond to an emergency thanks to a new partnership between the Walker Police Department and Meijer.

School Liaison Officer Mitchel Harkema will assemble emergency buckets for each classroom at Cummings Elementary. Meijer donated 30 buckets and $500 to fill them with items like rope, scissors, gauze and a hammer.

The hammer is helpful if a window needs to be broken out to escape a room. Rope can be tied to keep a door shut where an intruder is trying to get in.

“It’s better to have this stuff and not need it than need it and not have it,” Harkema told News 8. “It’s unfortunate in today’s day and age that we have to think this way, but we absolutely have to be prepared.”

Emergency care guides will also be placed in each bucket, including ALICE training pointers. In scenarios where a lockdown may last a long time, the bucket can also serve as a place to go to the bathroom.

Once the first 30 emergency buckets are completed, teachers will be trained and provide feedback for additional kits that will eventually go to every school in the area.

Cummings Elementary Principal David Martini was not available for an interview Monday, but sent News 8 the following statement:

“We are so thankful for our partnership with Officer Harkema and the Walker Police Department. They have been incredibly helpful and knowledgeable in our work with school safety. We continue to learn new information with them. We are thrilled that Meijer has also partnered with our area schools in helping us to prepare emergency kits for each classroom. We hope we will never need to use them, but are so thankful for the Walker Police Department and Meijer for helping to keep our students safe.”

In addition to working to better prepare schools, the Walker Police Department is one of several agencies taking part in an active shooter response seminar happening Tuesday in Grandville.

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