Putnam County deputies start school safety initiative

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PUTNAM COUNTY, Ind.– The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office says it’s stepping up security measures in schools in the wake of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL.

“The violence in schools and not only with the schools, but work force and work areas, is on the rise and we’re just trying to ease some of the tensions and anxiety that parents have.” Putnam County Sheriff Scott Stockton said. “We are strapped just like every other police agency throughout the nation but this is a high priority and a concern for us.”

Stockton is assigning a full time merit deputy to spend several hours each day walking through schools at random times and encouraging all deputies to do the same during their overtime hours and downtime.

“I have a 4-year old myself, most of the deputies on the department have kids, it’s just a concern that we all have, we all care about,” Deputy Riley Houghton.

The superintendent of North Putnam School Corporation quickly accepted the offer.

“It’s just added eyes. When you see an officer in the building or around I think there’s, you feel safe or safer, and I think that’s what we look at,” Superintendent Dan Noel said.

For Noel, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is familiar. He said he helped evaluate the school during an accreditation about 10 years ago while he worked at another district in Florida.

“Your heart just goes out. You’re like saying I was there, I was on that campus, I walked where those kids walked, you know toured, we interviewed the faculty and staff and looked at what we could we do to make it better academically and if there was any problems,” Noel said.

His message is one of communication.

“Make sure you talk to your children, your students, your kids,” Noel said.

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