TRENTON, Ohio - Edgewood City High School principal Russ Fussnecker says Operation Safe Schools is off to a good start.
Fussnecker says the new Butler County program, started by Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, has markedly increased the visibility of law enforcement at the schools.
"It's every day and it's random. It's not a set time and sometimes they've been to a school two times," said Fussnecker.
The idea was conceived after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy to have road deputies make time in their shift to visit the schools. It is hoped that someone who wished to do harm to students, teachers or other staff would think twice about it knowing that an armed deputy might be at that school.
Green Detherage is the School Resource Officer at Edgewood High School, he says the support of other deputies on a daily basis has also helped in other ways at the school.
"We've had a few incidents in the schools where the other deputies came in and helped with the investigation that speeded those things along," said Detherage.
Fussnecker jokes that a tasty lunch at the high school attracts some of the deputies when they have time but in addition to taking time to have lunch and interact with the students the deputies have all been briefed on the layout of the school and other logistical considerations to better respond to the various "nightmare scenarios."
"Hopefully you don't have to deal with one of those scenarios but we try to be preventative. I dont' think our problems are any lesser or greater than any other school in the nation but we want to make sure that we build relationships with those deputies and we're glad that they're here," said Russnecker.