Every day we wake up with our routines, schedules and continue through the days plans. Violence, hate and suicide are occurring all around in alarming numbers. Adults and children are bullied and others make comments which tear others down. People choose to blame, point fingers and speak of what could have been done to prevent such horrible events after the fact. The signs are looked at after it’s too late. Police Chief Tyler Wheeler is taking a proactive role stating, “School shootings, teenage suicide, bullying and controlled substances. I have zero tolerance concerning these matters. Since I took office of Chief of Police, a School Resource Officer (SRO) has been at the top of my list of goals. This summer I will be sending an Officer to SRO training.”
The next step for the SRO to work at the school is in the hands of the Monroe City School District. The district will be responsible for 70 percent of the SRO wages with the Monroe City Police Department supplying the other 30 percent. This will be presented to the Monroe City Board of Education. Chief Wheeler stated, “The Officer will be trained and ready when approved. The next hill is getting the School District to agree and commit to having a full-time officer at the school. Crime prevention is the key and the first line of defense would be established.”
Whether it is a mass shooter or another victim of suicide, who knows the signs and who will tell, who does a person report such findings and will the person do something about it. To be proactive it takes a team effort, to be alert to the surroundings and trained appropriately.
Recently, Superintendent Dr. Tracy Bottoms released a statement stating, “I often get asked, “Could this happen in my school district?”, my answer is always the same: Do not be foolish and think it could not.” Dr. Bottoms explained the state of Missouri mandates school districts to provide annual intruder training. Over the past two years the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and the Monroe City Police Department has been on site to provide this training to the staff. Bottoms also shared several times a year the district has simulated lockdown drills to make sure that if we are on lockdown, our staff and students were aware of what to do. Dr. Bottoms stated, “Our Crisis Plan is reviewed multiple times a year to ensure procedures are current and relevant.”
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