School officials and law enforcement meet in Johnson County

Johnson County School officials and Paintsville Independent School officials came together with local law enforcement Wednesday morning to discuss school safety after last week's tragedy in Connecticut.

School officials say they have felt the impact from the Sandy Hook tragedy. Johnson County Superintendent Steve Trimble says, "It is just hard to believe."

That now has them paying extra attention to school procedures. Trimble explains, "We don't want that to happen anywhere but especially not here in our community."

Employees review safety plans throughout the school year but there is a heightened level of awareness after the attack at Sandy Hook and that is why school officials and law enforcement came together. Officials say this initial meeting served as a starting point for further discussions on ways to improve school safety in their schools.

There are several ideas being discussed. Trimble says, "We are looking at maybe putting magnetic doors and buzzer systems in all of our schools." Paintsville Superintendent Coy Samons adds, "We would all like to see school resource officers in our school districts."

Officials all agree that local law enforcement plays a vital role in school safety. Trimble believes, "if they're prepared when they get here then they will save lives." Samons says making sure law enforcement knows the school's procedures and the schools know law enforcement's procedures is a key part to an effective school safety plan.

Reviews and revisions of procedures will continue, "We are going to reconvene at the first of the year and I think you'll see some plans come," says Samons.

Through all of this the clear focus remains, Samons says, "Our number one priority is the safety of our students."

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