CRESTVIEW Charmaine Nick, owner and director of the Apple Tree Preschool Learning Center, plans to work with state officials to implement an emergency notification system.


CRESTVIEW Charmaine Nick, owner and director of the Apple Tree Preschool Learning Center, plans to work with state officials to implement an emergency notification system.



No emergency entities contacted the private preschool on Thursday afternoon when Crestview police were searching for a suspect who multiple eyewitness said was carrying a firearm, Nick said.



"I saw the police vehicles drive by and saw them block off some of the roads," she said.



After receiving calls from concerned parents, Nick locked down the facility, which, by then, had a few people inside. "Fortunately, it was an early-release day for us," she said.



On a typical day, the staff would have released all of the children to their parents or guardians around 4 p.m., she said.



The Crestview PD contacted each facility within the search parameters to encourage staffers to take precautionary measures, CPD Lt. Andrew Schneider said.



"The preschool was nowhere near our search parameter," he said.



The search area included a wooded area near Redstone Avenue.



Nick's not upset with the Crestview Police Department or any of the response agencies involved, she said. However, she plans to contact a state representative on the matter.



"We are required by the state to have a lockdown procedure in place," she said. "Finding out (about emergencies) through a parent is not a good system.



"The children's safety is too important."



Email News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.