Siers: All elementary schools to have security on-site next year

There will be security at all five of the county’s elementary schools next school year after all.

School Superintendent Dr. Kevin Siers reported to the School Board Tuesday night that Sheriff Mike Worrell and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office had come up with a plan to have a police presence at each of the elementary schools.

Following final approval last week of the school budget for next fiscal year, it appeared there was only enough money – $180,000 – to have security at two and possibly three schools.

Siers said he and Assistant Superintendent Chris Stafford met with Worrell earlier Tuesday and found out all five schools would be covered.

“We walked in with only questions and problems to overcome, and Sheriff Worrell and his department had already worked it out before we got there,” Siers said. “We appreciate all they did to make this happen.”

According to Siers, Worrell worked out a plan to use a combination of additional full-time School Resource Officers (SROs), recently retired deputies and a DARE officer to provide security coverage at each school.

Siers said the use of recently retired deputies as school security officers is similar to what Wythe County does.

Siers said the Sheriff’s Office would provide some additional funding it has available along with the $180,000 in the school budget to fund the additional security.

Siers reported also that school officials are working with the Virginia State Police, Sheriff’s Office and local town police departments to install In-Force 911 software at all schools for next year.

In-Force 911 is real-time threat and notification software that will allow school employees to reduce their notification time and provide direct communication with police during emergencies.

By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot

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