ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Following the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school Tuesday, the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office is increasing the law enforcement presence at local schools.
"We want to put our students at ease. We want to put our teachers and staff at ease and our schools and our parents to let them know that we care and we are doing our part," said Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page. "We care about our children, they're precious we want to make sure we look after them."
Sheriff Page said they work regularly with the school district on a "comprehensive school safety plan," but when there is a school shooting, it's a moment to review the plan.
"Every time there’s an event we look, we’re accessing is there anything that we can do more? Anything that we can do better," Page said.
In a statement Wednesday the Rockingham County School District detailed elements of their school safety strategy including crisis plans for each school and crisis management and intervention teams at schools.
Sheriff Page said the department does annual active shooter training over the summer when school resource officers are more available. In a Facebook post, the Alamance County Sheriff's Office also detailed the training they do with teachers and staff at local schools. Rockingham said they periodically do those training with schools as well.
"There are regular meetings and communication throughout the year about school safety issues and when something arises in another jurisdiction as we saw in Texas yesterday we come back together and start talking and start looking is there anything additional we need to be doing," Page said.
The sheriff said school resource officers are essential to school security and more funding to recruit, hire and train them would also help. Sheriff Page said communication between parents, students, and school resources officers is extremely important to prevent violent incidents.
"The best safety mechanism is when our children will talk to our parents and our children will talk to our staff and our teachers and also our school resource officers there to help them, we're there to help them," said Page.