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Police Officers Positioned In Salem Schools

Last updated on Friday, January 25, 2013

(SALEM) - The Salem Police Department has always had a good relationship with Salem Community Schools, but officers are working on making that relationship even stronger in the wake of the school shooting in Connecticut last month.

Marcia Walker of the Leader-Democrat reports that Bradie Shurm Lower Elementary School, Salem Middle School and Salem High School, have made work space available for law enforcement officers.

It's a place where officers can catch up on paperwork as well as be visible to staff and students at the school.

Gene Sutton, principal at Bradie Shrum Lower Elementary School explained having officers around provides a sense of security.

While the focus lately has been on intruders, Sutton says the school has a crisis management team which meets regularly and reviews plans not just regarding intruders but other crises as well.

That 12-member team includes a teacher from each grade level, the custodian and nurse. Superintendent Dr. Lynn Reed says the safety of children is a top priority for the school and the community. Sutton says the school's emergency policies are reviewed regularly and changes made if needed.

Many of the officers at the schools are reserve officers. Reed says the school does not provide compensation, but tries to support the department in other ways, such as covering costs of radios for patrol cars, so officers can monitor school traffic.

Salem Police Chief Troy Merry says the school is also looking into adding more security cameras which dispatchers would monitor 24 hours a day seven days a week.

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