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School security efforts under way

By Alex Bridges

WOODSTOCK - Shenandoah County Public Schools can boost security at its buildings thanks to the Board of Supervisors.

Sheriff Timothy Carter told supervisors at their regular meeting the money allocated to enhance his agency's presence in the county's 10 schools has helped. All schools in the county now have an officer providing security. Supervisors backed a measure that returned money to the school system for the specific purpose of increasing security.

The Sheriff's Office and some town police departments have been supplying personnel to serve as school resource officers.

"We have a great program now," Carter said. "With these additional funds it's been enhanced greatly."

The sheriff advised supervisors of his meeting with the School Board on Monday at which he gave members an overview of his plan. School Board Chairman Gary Rutz said his board and the sheriff discussed much of the safety plan in closed session. Carter said the School Board asked him to give an update on securiy on May 9.

In response to a question posed by Supervisor David Ferguson, Carter said the funds appropriated have allowed law enforcement to have a presence in each of the 10 schools and covers the cost for the remainder of the school year.

The board approved an appropriation of funds from the current fiscal budget to cover the cost to provide additional security personnel at each educational facility. The motion as approved unanimously in the board's consent authorizes County Administrator Douglas Walker to spend up to $50,000 in school system funds carried over from fiscal 2012 to pay for additional security personnel to supplement current resource officers.

The motion also authorizes the return of $243,861 in carryover funds to the School Board with a recommendation that the system use the money to make improvements to facilities that enhance safety and security.

Supervisors had passed the motion at their Feb. 12 but needed to act to appropriate the funds.

Later in the Tuesday meeting, Carter spoke to supervisors about the funding and his program initiated with school officials.

Also at their meeting, supervisors:

  • Received the first William A. "Doc" Truban Leadership Award from the Shenandoah Forum for the board's support of the county's rural, agricultural and historic heritage. The organization cited the board for completing the Community Planning Project, invigorating the Conservation Easement Authority, conserving the historic County Farm for agricultural demonstrations, adding a natural-resources and agricultural-planning specialist to staff, and launching the renovation of the historic courthouse and Edinburg School. The award is named for Shenandoah County's first licensed veterinarian who practiced care of large animals for 50 years, served on the state Senate from 1971 to 1992 and supported the county's agricultural and rural heritage. Truban also received three Bronze Stars while serving in the U.S. Army Air Forces in Asia

  • Authorized the administration to appropriate $123,560.78 to cover the accrued liability of compensatory overtime for paid fire and rescue personnel

  • Approved a special-use permit requested by Laura Hockman to operate a beauty salon at 339 Cedar Spring Lane, Strasburg, with conditions. Supervisor Dennis Morris abstained from the vote, citing that he is related to the applicant.

  • Approved a resolution endorsing the Shenandoah County Economic Development Strategic Plan

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com


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