Kingsport City Schools creating task force to enhace security


In the wake of the massacre at a high school in Florida, Kingsport City Schools are taking steps to possibly amp up their school security.

"We always try to take the stance that no matter what kind of processes we have in place, we always have room to improve," said Assistant Superintendent, Andy True.

That thought process is behind the creation of a new task force in Kingsport, that will review safety measures and determine if changes need to be made.

"When conversations are going on like they are nationally right now, this is a good time for us to step back and re-examine what we're doing," Said True.

The task force will include a variety of community members: From law enforcement, to mental health professionals.

"Having outside eyes will be beneficial to see the situation with a fresh look," said True.

Tom Patton with the Kingsport Police Department agrees it's important for the community to be proactive, rather than reactive.

"I think it's important for us to bring all community partners on board. Anybody who has anything potential to offer towards school safety should work together in a cooperative effort to keep our schools as safe as they can possibly be," said Public Information Officer, Tom Patton.

One topic that may be tackled through the task force: Adding student resource officers to every school in the district. Right now, elementary schools have daily check ins from police, but no assigned SRO's.

"Obviously having law enforcement in the task force can help better inform us on whether what we have is appropriate, or if we need to look at taking additional steps in those areas," said True.

True says they're in the process of compiling members of the task force. He says their work as a coalition should be underway soon.

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