IVINS, Utah (ABC4) – Washington County School District leaders tell ABC4 that several parents recently expressed concerns about safety after the tragedy at the elementary school in Texas and officials want to assure parents they take safety very seriously.
Lieutenant Jaron Studley with the Santa Clara-Ivins Police Department says several parents in the community also reached out to him with concerns after the last mass murder incident.
“Horrible, horrible incident that happened and it struck us home because it was a smaller community in Texas,” he says.
Studley says after speaking with the police chief, they put higher visibility at elementary schools before the Memorial Weekend Break, to make teachers, students, and parents feel safe.
“We had a big showing at pick up, we had a big showing at drop off, and we put an officer at each school, we walked around we interacted with kids, we went to classrooms, we said hi,” says Studley.
But this isn’t something that’s new. According to Washington County school leaders, there are SROs, or School Resource Officers, at every secondary school in the district. Some local law enforcement officials say they send officers to other schools as well.
“So that’s 22 officers we have in our buildings, ready, watching, and helping out,” says Steven Dunham, the Director of Communications for the Washington County School District.
Dunham says there’s an armed officer on the premises at every secondary school and security is taken very seriously.
“We have just spent millions of dollars upgrading our facilities, adding additional security features in all of our buildings, “ he says.
“Those officers are equipped with a patrol kit and they do have what we call riffle raided plates, so they do have body armor accessible to them, we do have the same weapons that we use as a patrol rifle and it’s an M-4 based AR-15 styled rifle,” says Studley.
These officials say there are also frequent active shooter trainings. Police say they know every layout of the schools and are prepared to take charge during the worst-case scenario.