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December 18, 2012

Thomasville resource officers 'trained to react'

THOMASVILLE — Thomasville school resource officers are trained to react to school situations.

Officers are trained to act immediately, said Lt. Eric Hampton, Thomasville Police Department public information officer.

“We don’t wait for backup. We don’t wait for SWAT to arrive,” Hampton said.

First responders arrive and try to locate and eliminate the threat and preserve lives, Hampton said, adding, “That’s our job.”

“We have been increasing patrols of the school campuses by deputies and staying in touch with the system directors,” said Capt. Steven Jones, Thomas County Sheriff’s office public information officer and Thomas County Schools school resource officer coordinator.

Jones said he has reviewed emergency procedures with school staff and ensured safety measures are in place.

Local officers’ concerns and actions are in response to the Friday school shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first- and second-graders were murdered in classrooms. Six adults also died.

Dr. Dusty Kornegay, county school superintendent, said he spoke with Jones during the weekend and again Monday.

“The sheriff's department has increased patrols in and around our schools, and we are grateful for the support of local law enforcement in helping to reassure our students and staff,” Kornegay said.

See Tuesday's edition for more details.

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