DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — While students in Dinwiddie don’t go back to school for a few weeks, teachers and leaders are already getting ready for the big day, but with a few new faces. For the first time ever, Dinwiddie High School and Middle School will welcome extra armed officers in the building.
County leaders told 8News they’ve only had a handful of incidents at the schools involving safety. They said this effort is proactive rather than reactive and that an extra officer in the building will give students, teachers and parents a peaceful state of mind.
“A recommendation was made to add school security officers,” Christie Clarke, the director of School and Community Relations for Dinwiddie County Public Schools, told 8News Wednesday.
Clarke said through state awarded grants, the county will be able to add two new armed officers in the schools.
“This just gives an extra set of hands,” she explained. “Another pair of eyes.”
A new lock system is already in place and the new officers will help the current school resource officers, who are from the Sheriff’s Office, by staying after hours and monitoring after-school activities.
“This gives us an opportunity to provide an extra bit of security for our families and our students in the evening,” Clarke told 8News.
One parent who spoke with 8News said she’s happy to see the addition.
“The more the merrier. The more protection, the better,” Cailin Martin said.
Martin’s son Austin is too young to be in school but she says the change is a step in the right direction.
“With a parent, you feel like your ultimate goal is to protect them,” Martin said. “If there’s security at school you feel more at ease.”
Clarke said four school resource officers are already stationed at schools across the county but new this year, a fifth officer will float between the three elementary schools as an extra resource.