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School Resource Officer Talks Training, Safety

December 14, 2012, 9:57 PM by Kelly Bartnick

School Resource Officer Talks Training, Safety

Sioux Falls police are talking about your child’s safety following Friday’s deadly school shooting.

“We've done an extensive amount of staff training and also drilling with the students on lockdown. Really practicing like it's going to be the real thing,” Edison Middle School Resource Officer Lance Mattson said.

Mattson said police presence alone deters violence at schools. Cruisers are parked outside every Sioux Falls Middle and High School each day with up to 15 police officers patrolling school halls.

“You're a third counselor, a third teacher and also a third police officer. So we do spend a lot of the time in the classroom building those relationships with the kids,” Mattson said.

Friday’s events at a Connecticut elementary school serve as a reminder that acts of violence do happen, even in places not known for crime. Sioux Falls police are not stationed in the city's elementary schools, but they do spend time there. And they train for events there too.

“You prepare for what you think you can do. Obviously you can't always prepare for everything,” Mattson said.

He said the 1999 Columbine High School shootings changed how officers police schools. Friday’s events could again redefine school patrol standards.

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