Local schools relish relationship with law enforcement

As the nation continues to grapple with the tragedy that unfolded in Newtown, Conn., local officials want to reassure Jefferson City residents that the public schools and local law enforcement have a “very good working relationship.”

On Friday, the Jefferson City Public Schools and several local law enforcement agencies — including the Jefferson City Police and Cole County Sheriff’s Department, as well as agencies in Callaway County — issued a joint press release expressing their commitment toward keeping children safe, School Superintendent Brian Mitchell said.

The press release issued by the school district notes that the past several days have “created additional anxiety for many in our community, so it is vital that we can call upon law enforcement for help in keeping kids safe.”

“Obviously, with the situation in Connecticut, all of us — especially if you have kids — are deeply affected,” he said. “I can’t get my head around how anyone could do what they did” 10 days ago. “For our parents to send the most important people in their lives to us every day to take care of — and not just physically, but educationally — takes a lot of trust. And we take that trust seriously.”

To respond to last week’s heightened concerns about school safety, extra local law enforcement was allocated to monitor the schools last week, in addition to the school resource and DARE officers who regularly work there. Jefferson City students are now out of school for their winter break, but they will return to class Jan. 3.

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