Every day, various organizations are working together to make Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) a safer place for faculty, staff and students.
“There’s nothing more vital to the academic success of our students [than] they feel safe in school every day while they’re there,” Ron Crowe, PWCS’ director of Risk Management and Security Services said.
Officials discussed the steps that are being taken at a School Safety Town Hall last month.
The meeting, hosted by Supervisor John Jenkins, took place at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge.
The school system has been working alongside the Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) for at least 30 years.
“Between managing that relationship with the school resource officers, the school security officers, and our administrative teams, they have done a great job of creating that open and welcoming environment at schools that allows our staff and allows our students to come forward and see something and say something,” Crowe said.
Continuing to work with the police department isn’t the only action.
PWCS plans to use $1 million allocated by the School Board to implement school safety initiatives.
The school division has also received support from the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS), which is running a pilot program to add armed school security officers at elementary schools.
Crowe explained that when he meets with officials from other states and jurisdictions, it’s difficult for them to understand how Prince William County is able to work through challenges.
“It doesn’t happen overnight … You continue to build on those positive school security-related issues, and you get to finally a point where you’ve got a pretty good program running that you’re proud of,” Crowe said. “And I think that’s where we’re at in Prince William County Schools.”
In addition to working with county officials, the school system assesses any threats that are made.
Crowe added that there are many “good” initiatives.
“We’ll continue to move forward and try to make sure the schools are the safest place they can be for your students,” he said.
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