Local law enforcement is playing a greater role in our schools as the increasing trend of school violence enters the minds of many administrators. Schools today still have internal handling mechanisms such as detention and suspension designed to cope with the problems that arise in a school environment. Things such as a school fight or other mild confrontation are handled internally, but at what point is the line drawn between school action and legal action? As policies in schools place more of an emphasis on safety, administrators are redefining those lines constantly.
“These are places of business and learning and some openness is needed. You can’t live in fear all the time,” said Norwich City Police Chief Joseph Angelino.
Schools in the last few years have been revolutionized by rash of shootings that have plagued America. This epidemic has caused security to be bolstered to levels never before seen in schools. Lt. James E. Lloyd of the Chenango County Sheriff’s Department said state mandates require the schools to submit information such as building schematics to local police agencies. “If they ever call, we come,” said Lloyd. Routine drug checks by police dogs, surveillance cameras, one point of entry, sign-in sheets, personnel badges, electronic card access, metal detectors and random bag checks are all growing parts of everyday life in Chenango County’s schools.