Students at elementary schools in the City of South Bend will soon see more police officers walking the hallways.
A new program is starting in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.
Police officers will be making routine visits inside the 36 public and private elementary schools in the city. There are already school resource officers assigned to the middle and high schools in South Bend.
Lt. Eric Crittendon, Director of South Bend Schools’ resource officers says, “It’s something you don't think you need but yeah you do need at every level. It's not just protection but also it’s to build a repertoire with these kids.”
With this new initiative, officers will stop by unannounced and walk the hallways checking the locks on the windows and doors. Officers will also be monitoring security cameras, talking with staff, and generally looking for anything suspicious.
Captain Darryl Boykins from the South Bend Police Department says, “I think it's a big plus. The kids…they don't know what's going on but they see a cop there every day and I think it's really good for the security of the schools.”
Ideally an officer from his or her beat will stop by a school several times a week. He or she will get to know the students at those schools and develop relationships.