Schools superintendent: Warren schools still safe places

Greg Drescher

Warren County officials are discussing possible bolsters to the school system’s security, but discussions are still in preliminary stages.

Warren County Superintendent Greg Drescher said that he and the sheriff are actively discussing “next steps in school safety,” which involves collecting feedback from state police, local law enforcement officials and parents via an online survey emailed out last week.

“Every time, unfortunately, there’s a school shooting, there’s a lot of reaction to it,” Drescher said. “I don’t want to just react; I want to do what the appropriate next steps are.”

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has five school resource officers, with designated deputies at both high schools and both middle schools, and one additional school resource officer who covers the county’s five elementary schools. The county additionally employs an unarmed safety officer at each high school.

When asked if the school system is considering hiring part-time school resource officers  to increase the ranks, Drescher said he and the sheriff “aren’t at that point in discussions yet.”

“I would say that if we are going to add any type of guns to our schools, I want to make sure they are in the hands of professionals whose primary role is public safety,” he said.

Warren County schools have locked door buzzer systems, routinely hold lock down drills, are monitored by on-site cameras and have their five-man school resource officer staff. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office deployed more deputies to area schools in the wake of last week’s bomb threats, and those officers will remain in the schools for the rest of the school year.

Drescher issued a statement Wednesday to concerned parents, saying that while the community is “unnerved,” Warren County schools are still safe places for students.

“The recent tragedy in Florida has left all of us unnerved. Adding to this, a series of threats in our school system and around the nation has further compounded our sense of safety,” the statement read. “Fortunately, at this time, all of our local threats did not have actual dangerous items involved and appear to be foolish comments made by a few and quickly shared on social media by many others.”