New school safety measures introduced in Warsaw

WARSAW, Ind. (WNDU) - It’s back to school on Tuesday for students in Warsaw, and in order to make sure they get there safely, officials are making sure what did happen never happens again.

“When you have a tragedy like that in the community, it shakes us all to the core,” Warsaw Police Department Detective Brad Keller said.

Officials are stepping up school safety in Warsaw after 8-year-old Gidieon Cook was struck and killed while on his way home from summer school back in June.

It happened on Husky Trail near Harrison Elementary School, the same street where officials plan to step up school safety when students go back to school on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, accidents occur, and no one likes that. It obviously makes everyone pause and look at their safety, what they’re doing, can they be doing it better, and again, we worked for the past two months with the school corporation, working out some more details,” Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said.

Some of those details include adding two speed solar panels on Husky Trail. Plans are also in the works of training more crossing guards and adding extra patrols in school zones.

It is something Keller says is not the only thing that will help make it safer for students.

"Pay attention to your surroundings. When you are approaching an intersection, maybe slow down a little bit. Look and see what’s coming, what’s going. Maybe be in tune, because it is so easy in this day and age to get side-tracked and to get distracted,” Keller said.

With a lot of distractions and a lot of students going to and from school, the last thing the Warsaw community wants to see is what happened to Gidieon happen again.

“We have this tragedy in our community, we want to find positive in that. We want to make sure that people are thinking of Gidieon and thinking of his family and making sure that never happens again in our community,” Keller said

Thallemer says that the city will also be looking to add more flashing lights and adjusting some of the crosswalks near Warsaw Community Schools to help ensure the safety of students.