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Posted on: February 21, 2018

Open Letter to the Town of Atherton and to our School’s Students, Staff, and Parents

Last week in Parkland, Florida, 17 innocent victims lost their lives in yet another tragic school shooting.  Incidents of school shootings in our country have become far too common.  In the majority of these shootings, investigations and findings revealed there were many warning signs, social media posts, and direct communication with classmates that the suspect or suspects were planning and plotting a school shooting attack.  The Atherton Department of Police along with our school administrators and staff take all reports of threats and suspicious activity involving our schools very seriously and investigate all reports.  On a daily basis, our School Resource Officer works closely with our schools to keep them safe and to mitigate all hazards and risks.  As a reminder - “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING” by calling 911, contacting a school staff member, or by telling a parent or other trusted adult.  This is one of the best ways we can prevent another school shooting or other acts of violence.

The officers and professional staff of the Atherton Department of Police stand at the ready to respond to, mitigate, and stop threats and acts of violence at our schools in order to keep students, staff, and parents safe at all times.  Our officers are highly trained and possess the latest equipment needed in order to respond to any hazard in our town, especially when it may involve our schools.  We routinely provide run, hide, fight training to school staff and students, and we participate in all school active shooter and other safety drills.  In April of this year we will be conducting a full scale active shooter exercise along with the Menlo Park Fire District at the Menlo School.

We have nine schools in the Town of Atherton and over 8,000 students in town daily during the school week.  The safety and wellbeing of our students and school staff is one of our highest priorities.  Our average response time to have several officers on the scene of any emergency in town and at our schools is three minutes.  We will also be assisted in short order by our mutual aid partners which includes the Menlo Park Fire District, Menlo Park Police Department, Redwood City Police Department, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol.

You can assist us in keeping our community safe.  If you see or hear something that is suspicious/doesn’t seem right/threatening, it is critical that you report it.  Working together we can keep our very safe community even safer from those who may wish to cause harm and mayhem.

If you have any question or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.


Steven D. McCulley

Chief of Police

Town of Atherton

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