Patrol officers will roam hallways of South Bend primary schools - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Patrol officers will roam hallways of South Bend primary schools


"We have officers in the high schools, we have officers in the middle schools, but we don't have officers in the primary centers," says Lt. Eric Crittendon, supervisor for school resource officers.

He says that's about to change and the department is teaming up with 26 schools. "We're taking a proactive approach to improving school safety."

At any time throughout the day, day shift patrol officers will pop into schools and make the rounds.

"They'll walk around the building, get the opportunity to maybe even have lunch with kids if they're in their lunch hour," says Crittendon.

Captain Terry Young says this is a good chance for officers to learn the ins and outs of the schools. "So they familiarize themselves with the school and our presence is even more prevalent out there."

He thinks students will respond well to him and his colleagues. "You'll find when you come to grades K-4, the kids love to see the police. They'll come up, shake your hand and give you hugs and stuff. So they absolutely love it."

Parents of young students had mix reactions.

"I don't think it's going to solve anything or make the problems better. I think it will just put fear in the students and parents," says Crystl Buzas.

But most parents do feel safer knowing their schools will be patrolled.

"It does make me uneasy that police have to be present, but I think it's reassuring that they're here," says Tonia Free.

"I'd feel a lot safer with that happening and not worry about someone coming in with weapons or taking kids out that shouldn't be," says Judy Annis.

"I think it's great, it's being safe for our kids," says Kevin Pinkney.

What do you think? Do you think having patrol officers roam the hallways will make primary schools safer? Do you think it will cause students to feel scared or more secure?

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