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Better Communication Main Goal Of School Safety Summit

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Better Communication Main Goal Of School Safety Summit

110 Tennessee Sheriffs and Police Chiefs gathered in a School Safety Summit with an emphasis on improving responses to school violence.

The event was co-sponsored by the Tennessee Sheriffs Association and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris leads the statewide Sheriffs group. He said the goal of the summit is to better communication.

“We all have a lot of ideas, across the state, a lot of chiefs, a lot of sheriffs are doing things right,” Farris said. “But not everyone is doing the same things. So it’s real good to discuss what those things are so we can work together and help our neighboring counties and get everybody up to speed on a certain level.”

Farris said the summit examined emergency situations across the country. He said they discussed how responses were done correctly, done incorrectly, and what mistakes had been addressed so it wouldn’t happen again in the future.

Farris said that school safety has always been a pillar of focus for law enforcement, with nine out of 10 schools in the state having a Student Resource Officer on campus. With recent school shooting tragedies, Farris said Tennessee law enforcement is working to be at the forefront of school safety.

Farris said they also heard from keynote Michele Gay, the mother of Josephine Gay who was murdered in the Sandy Hook school shooting.  He said attendees listened to her presentation, as well as discussed several other topics.

“We end up breaking into small groups and talking about some other things and really drilling down about some of the needs that we all have in our own counties that we’d like to see and do better,” Farris said. “It was about a whole host of things and it turned out really good. We talked about legislative needs to potential funding for making school safer and technology and just a whole host of things.”


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