Police Chief DeNaro: All Haverhill Patrol Officers Have Had Active Shooter Training

Haverhill Police Department Deputy Chief Anthony Haugh, left, and Chief Alan R. DeNaro speak at a city Administration and Finance Committee in 2018. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill Deputy Police Chief Anthony Haugh (left) and Chief Alan R. DeNaro speak at a city Administration and Finance Committee meeting on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (WHAV News photograph)

Haverhill is ready and fully prepared should any school violence touch our community, Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro assured members of the City Council on Thursday.

In the wake of last Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 students and faculty members dead, DeNaro said all of Haverhill’s Patrol Officers have completed active shooter training. The city’s training efforts are so comprehensive, DeNaro said, that other departments often seek Haverhill officers to train their teams.

“We’ve been very proactive on that in the event, God forbid, if something should happen in Haverhill. Our officers know how to address it, how to go in as a team, how to set up the perimeter. All the things we’d do to get as many people out as safely as possible when these things happen,” DeNaro said in a previously scheduled appearance at an Administration and Finance subcommittee meeting.

City firefighters will also complete active shooter training, DeNaro said, so that the first responders can coordinate efforts.

As the department works to upgrade its communication tools, DeNaro said he hopes the Council would consider allocating funds to install the same “shot spotter detection software” currently in place at Hunking in all schools.

“That tells us if a shot is fired and we are notified immediately. It’s state-of-the-art,” he said. “It’s so darn expensive that we really can’t afford it (at other schools).”

In the meantime, DeNaro confirmed that the Haverhill Police department has direct access to the surveillance camera feed from Haverhill High School, and welcomed further discussion with councilors about safety measures in schools.

Said DeNaro: “These are all conversations that would be beneficial in terms of safety.”