As a result of the Newtown, Conn. tragedy, law enforcement units have provided an increase in presence at all Rogers County school districts. As a state recommendation, extra security measures and lockdown procedures are in place.
“We have officers in units at each of our school buildings,” said Claremore Superintendent Mke McClaren. “The police are well-rehearsed on what to do in case of a similar emergency.”
McClaren said officers have used the old Central Upper Elementary site as well as the new Catalayah site as training venues for circumstances requiring a school lockdown procedure.
“The event that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary was unfortunate,” said McClaren. “Our goal is to make sure to improve on all security measures to keep the students and faculty safe.”
Security cameras are in place at all Claremore schools, however the best deterrent for such acts is law enforcement, he said.
“There is a cost for more onsite school officers, but there is no price tag for the safety of our students.”
In addition to Claremore public schools, Verdigris has taken similar action to ensure security procedures are up to date.
“It has taken some time but we now have security cameras set in all of our school sites,” said Verdigris Superintendent Mike Payne.
Payne said for the next few days leading up to Christmas break, Verdigris will provide officers at both sites.
“It’s something you have to do in order to protect the students,” said Payne. “What happened in Connecticut was just horrible, you can’t really put it into words. Unfortunately there are things we can learn from it.”
The additional officers plan to regularly patrol schools throughout the rest of the week and then assist as needed after students return from winter break.