Dickinson County Courthouse, Spirit Lake, Iowa

Press Releases

Regular Quarterly Meetings Foster Stronger Safety Measures in Harris-Lake Park, Graettinger-Terril, Okoboji, and Spirit Lake Schools

As part of a dedicated effort to fortify the safety measures in schools across the districts of Harris-Lake Park, Graettinger-Terril, Okoboji, and Spirit Lake a recurring quarterly meeting has been established between key stakeholders and law enforcement officials. This collaborative initiative, now in its second year, has proven to be a pivotal forum for the exchange of vital insights and the implementation of advanced safety protocols, ensuring the security of students, faculty, and staff within the school communities. The meetings, attended by each school Superintendent or a Principal, of the four districts, as well as the Chief of Police, the Sheriff, HEAT (High-risk Entry & Arrest Team) Commander and Dickinson County Emergency Management, serve as a platform for robust discussions on various crucial aspects related to school safety.

Themes of discussion encompass the implementation of the widely recognized ALICE Training method, working to bring further training to the county for our schools and responders, addressing pertinent current issues, fostering an environment of knowledge-sharing and mutual learning, and ensuring uniformity in emergency response plans across all educational institutions.

Recently, the group has begun implementing a new emergency radio system, designed specifically for both schools and buses, aimed at enhancing communication and response capabilities during critical situations. “When the County Board of Supervisors was working to fund the new countywide public safety radio system, they saw the importance of including the schools in the new system. As a result, all buses will be outfitted with new radios that will operate on the same system that our public safety agencies use so that when needed, we can communicate directly to the schools, the buses, and their staff. This will complement the radios that each school building is getting through the Governor's school safety program,” said Mike Ehret, DCEM.

In addition, 3D imaging of the school buildings was completed and continues to be updated. This allows our responders to take a virtual tour of the schools during downtime so that they can become more familiar with each school's layout.  Through sustained engagement and collaborative efforts, the participating parties remain committed to fostering a secure and conducive learning environment for the students. The proactive approach adopted by the schools and the law enforcement authorities exemplifies a shared dedication to the well-being and safety of the community. 

For further information, please contact Mike Ehret, Dickinson County Emergency Management, 712.336.3987 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..