FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) - The tragedy in Newtown, Conn. has hit close to home for teachers, students and parents across the country. The people protecting their schools every day want to assure parents their kids are safe at school.
Hamilton Southeastern School District has six school resource officers on staff and they head to work every day with one thing in mind: keeping the schools safe.
"The actual (events) that happened in Connecticut are tragic," said Lt. Mike Johnson, a school resource officer for HSE. "The possibility of an active shooter (is) there."
Johnson said while the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary has everyone on edge, those are situations his staff prepares for. Just two weeks ago, Riverside Intermediate School participated in a violent shooter drill called ALICE that prepares students and staff for a worst case scenario.
"Those philosophies are changing to where students are better equipped to hide, maybe throw things at an attacker, barricade doors or even in some cases flee the building if they need to," Johnson said.
Since the tragedy in Connecticut, Johnson said in addition to resource officers, Fishers police officers are patrolling the schools to give students a better sense of safety. The Boone County Sheriff's Department is also having its deputies patrol the county's schools for the rest of the week.
Johnson said schools and police need to work together to have the best safety plan in place.
"We are fortunate in that the relationship between Hamilton Southeastern Schools and the department is very strong and we work together to try and make sure our schools are safe," Johnson said.
There is a resource officer at both high schools and the freshman building in Hamilton Southeastern School District, but at the elementary schools and middle schools they have roaming officers. Johnson said they do police drills during the summer months as well as the violent shooter drills with students during school months. They also conduct audits at every school where they randomly send in a plain clothes officer in to each school to make sure the protocols to stop an intruder from even entering the building are being followed.
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