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School police chief: Security a top issue

ALBANY, Ga. — Dougherty County School System police Chief Troy Conley on Monday told the School Board's Security and Safety Committee that his department is working hard to improve security in the district's 26 schools.

"In addition to the Albany Police Department, Dougherty Police Department and the Sheriff's Department, we've recently partnered with the Georgia State Patrol and DNR (Department of Natural Resources) to beef up our school security," Conley said. "We are currently working closely with the local and state agencies and in the process of putting some things together including some full mock active shooter drills. That's a top priority for us."

Conley said that in addition to active shooters, his department is working to keep narcotics and weapons out of the schools.

According to the Georgia Department of Education's 2010-11 Unsafe Schools report — which is the latest available — Conley's fears are well founded. The district reported 29 felony drug and 16 felony weapons violations during the school year.

"We are also keeping an eye out for bullies, fights, possible gang activity, sex offenders and external and internal theft," Conley said.

The chief said the department's goal is to reduce criminal activity in the schools, on the district's buses and at system-sponsored events.

"We are constantly training for worst-case scenarios," Conley said. "We have a seven-member Special Response Team (SRT) for emergency situations. We also have an in-house paramedic on call to also respond to those situations."

According to the state Department of Education, the state's goals are to "to lead the nation in improving student achievement, we have to ensure that all of our schools provide safe, nurturing environments where students can learn and are valued and respected, and to do that we have to maintain stringent standards."

"The focus of the rule is not to label schools as unsafe, but to work with LEAs (law enforcement agencies) proactively to identify those schools at risk of being labeled persistently dangerous and provide them with the professional development and technical assistance they need to improve."

Comments

chinaberry25 1 year, 2 months ago

If you are so concerned, why during critical hours are you sitting in your offices when the morning bell rings and a fight breaks out in the middle hall and not one teacher or cop is anywhere around. They also need buzzers to ring in case this ever happens again. These high schools are huge and they need to be watched. Especially Albany High. The peak periods are lunch, class changes and mornings. Dismissal, not so bad, they can clear a school out in 5 minutes. Cops are not spread out and you never see one in the 9th grade academy. Too much are being left to teachers to handle and this should not be. Teachers are sitting ducks, but so are students.

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VietVet1 1 year, 2 months ago

"We are also keeping an eye out for bullies, fights, possible gang activity, sex offenders and external and internal theft," Conley said.

WOW! That means Albany is a role model for the rest of the nation.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 2 months ago

Put Joey James in charge of the Quick Response Team.

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whodat 1 year, 2 months ago

In at least one high school, parents have been known to bypass the office and go directly to the teacher's classroom to demand an on-the-spot parent conference. Never mind that class is in session. Never mind that the protocol is to sign in first in the office. Never mind that parents must schedule a parent conference with the parent facilitator. Oh nooooo, we can't follow the rules, can we, because that would inconvenience us. I blame the administration who can't even be bothered to put a sign on the front door to notify visitors of the expected protocols of on-campus visits. School safety is a joke in the DCSS---for students, teachers, and staff.

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