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School safety addressed

December 12, 2013

Hunlock

Around this time last year, not coincidentally around the same time as the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in Newtown, Conn., parents voiced their concerns about the safety of their children while in the care of the Wapakoneta City Schools district.
A public meeting was held last year to address these concerns, and local law enforcement has been working with the schools in order to continue updating safety measures.
“There was some public concern,” Wapakoneta Police Chief Russ Hunlock said. “We felt obligated to make the public aware that it’s not being overlooked, it never has been overlooked. We are advancing as we can — as soon and as quickly as possible. A lot of the advancement takes time and effort.”
A safety meeting was held on Wednesday to discuss the current status of the safety measures taken at the school.
“It is to update parents of the students of the school on the progress we have made for the enhancement of the school building, themselves and the training we have supplied,” Hunlock said. “We’ve made quite a few advances, and we’re way ahead of the game.”
Wapakoneta City Schools district Superintendent Keith Horner said the meeting was held to
address the safety measures that have been taken over the past year and a half and the measures that are currently being worked on.
Horner said the Wapakoneta Police Department, Auglaize County Sheriff, and Cridersville Police Department have remained dedicated to increasing safety measures at the schools.
“We are committed to having ongoing monthly meetings, and those will continue — they have been a productive way to keep our momentum going,” Horner said.
Horner said the training of staff within the school district has been a great measure to the continued safety at the schools.
Throughout the year, Hunlock said the schools and police department have “stepped up” their interaction within those monthly meetings.
“It’s been a very good working relationship between us and the schools, and it’s for a very important reason,” Hunlock said.
The police held a one-day training session with teachers and staff at the school, keeping them aware of ways to enhance safety measures.
Describing school safety as an “ongoing process,” Hunlock said there will be more advancements made to the school in the future.
While the police have been working with teachers and staff at the school, Hunlock said there is another group he would like to contact about safety.
“Now we’re going into a phase of starting to talk with the students themselves,” Hunlock said.
Students will be informed about what they can do to help make their school safer.

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