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Hastings Police talk about school safety
How can we protect kids at school? It's a burning question across the country ever since the incident at Sandy Hook elementary. . Many cities are increasing police presence at schools.
News 5's Lauren Conley spoke with the Hastings Police Department about what other cities are doing to increase police presence at schools.
One police department in Castle Rock, Colorado is asking officers to file reports from their cars in school parking lots.
In Utah, they're committing a police officer to spend at least 20 minutes a day walking the halls of each school.
But, Hastings Police Chief Pete Kortum tells me the Sandy Hook tragedy isn't changing anything here.
"It's been ongoing, and as tragic as that event is, what we've been doing, we're continuing to do," said Kortum.
Chief Kortum has been working closely with Hastings Public Schools on safety and security recently. The district has a school resource officer stationed at the High School.
"We patrol schools a lot," Kortum said.
Patrol officers regularly monitor schools for traffic safety. But, won't ask officer's to spend extra time in school parking lots or visiting schools.
"They do have a need to do reports away from their department because there's so many miles between an officer's patrol beat and actually the station, which is not the case in Hastings," said Kortum.
Patrol officers agree.
"I like to move around as much as I can, because I don't want people getting used to me in one spot. I've got to cover the whole city and not just one section," said Officer Koob Borgeling.
Hastings Public Schools say they're in the process of increasing security.
"I think when children attend the Hastings Public Schools, they'll be as safe as we can humanly make them," said Hastings Public Schools Superintendent Craig Kautz.
The district is focusing on maintaining control of entryways and exits, surveillance cameras and creating effective response procedures.
But, Superintendent Craig Kautz says it's not just about how potential victims can protect themselves.
"One of the things that probably every school administrator, police officer is concerned about is the level of firepower that people possess, their use of that and the damage they can do with that," Kautz said.
Chief Kortum says increasing police presence can be a positive measure to take. It increases the feeling of safety and reduces fear.
But, he says it's not necessary here in Hastings.
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