Deputies to make routine visits to Kanawha County schools - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Deputies to make routine visits to Kanawha County schools

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Starting this week, there will be an increased presence of law enforcement officers in Kanawha County schools.

It's part of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department new school safety program.

On Tuesday morning, deputies kicked off the new program at Ruthlawn Elementary School in South Charleston.

"We want to make sure that we're also able to help. That's why most of us get into law enforcement, is to try and help people," said Cpl. Bryan Humphreys.

These spontaneous visits to local schools are meant to improve an already safety-conscience county.

Principal Natalie Laliberty said she is all for routine visits from men and women in uniform.

"I think it's great to have police officers in the building, building relationships with kids so that the kids won't have a fear of them," she said.

In light of the Sandy Hook massacre, deputies said they just want to be out in front of school safety.

"It's more proactive than reactive. This is not based on some specific threat or series of problems locally. We want to make sure that there isn't going to be a problem," Humphreys said.

The Kanawha County Commission recently approved $30,000 to make the pilot program possible.

At the end of this school year, it will be evaluated to see if more or less aggressive action is needed to protect children while they are on school property.