Lafayette, La (KADN)- "I take school safety with the utmost seriousness. The children are our most precious resource."
As the school year approaches, Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber says they have updated the school resource officer program.
Garber says every summer, school resource officers undergo updated training as if there is an active shooter situation. "Where they actually are in a school and engaging in bad guy actors. All of my officers, including myself, will run towards danger and risk our lives to stop an active homicide in progress."
With forty-six schools in the district, Sheriff Garber says each school has received a bass radio and has even added two portable ones. "It causes there to be an open mic which means we can hear exactly what's going on. Even if they can't talk, we can hear what's going on. Everybody is going to drop what they are doing and they are going to converge on that school. There is going to be lots of help coming very, very quickly."
Alicia Zeringue says it's great to hear the sheriff's office is taking all measures to ensure the safety of those on the school grounds is safe. "Open up those lines of communication so that the officers can have a really good understanding of what's going on in the schools. If something were to happen, it would give them a streamlined way to respond."
For uncertain parents.
"For parents that may still be a little hesitant as school is approaching, what would you want them to know about their children's school resource officer when they get ready to walk through the door?"
"There is no guarantee in life that something won't happen, we are as prepared as we can be to deal with that threat. School resource officers are very dedicated to protecting the kids, says Sheriff Garber.
Now, suppose parents or anyone hears or sees a potential threat to a local school. In that case, Sheriff Garber says don't be afraid to reach out even if it doesn't happen—- saying safety on school campuses is their number one priority.
They have a real-time crime center that is now integrated with school system cameras so that officers can track the suspect's exact movement.