Law enforcement aiming for stronger community policing in schools

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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Law enforcement agencies in Simpson County are among those coming together during a stronger community policing effort in local schools.

Simpson County Sheriff Jere Dee Hopson has ordered his deputies to spend more time at the schools, in an effort not only make schools safer but also make them feel safer.

"All the emergency personnel made the agreement that starting immediately we could probably all go by the schools more and spend more time there," he said, "so I ordered, at the sheriff's office for all my deputies, especially on day shift to stop by the schools when they can. "

The Sheriff's Department isn't alone in this effort. The Franklin Police Department is also joining in.

"The jail's even sending some people up," added Hopson. "They have a few officers that have kids in school, and the more we can be there the better off we think we are, and it doesn't cost the citizens anything extra."

As threats have inundated Kentucky school systems, it's important for law enforcement to be familiar their local schools.

"That gives officers a chance not only to get to know the schools in case there is an emergency to respond but also to [get to] know a lot of the students, because you have conversations while you're there and it lets the children see the officers as more than just a policeman," said Hopson. "They enjoy getting to know people; they enjoy get to be seen."

Sheriff Hopson also explained that this isn't completely unfamiliar for Simpson County.

"Our officers have always made an attempt to be around the schools but usually it was more of a driving-by capacity," he said.

Sheriff Hopson says this initiative is what community policing comes down to.

"Getting to know the kids, getting to know the citizens making them feel more comfortable, is what we're all about," he finished.

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