Maine sheriff's office launches school security initiative

Feb. 12, 2009
Deputies perform safety assessments to help keep rural schools safe

The Kennebec County Sheriff's Office is working with the county's emergency management agency to keep rural schools in Kennebec County protected, Sheriff Randall Liberty said Tuesday.

"We realize schools are housing our most precious resource. We want to have a part in keeping them safe," Liberty said.

Deputies are visiting schools physically located within the sheriff's jurisdiction -- including schools in Windsor, Readfield, Chelsea and Albion -- and performing safety assessments and downloading photographs and blueprints of the schools so deputies will know the grounds from every angle in case they have to respond to an emergency.

"We want our deputies to be familiar with our rural schools and who is in charge of those schools," Liberty said. "These are schools in municipalities that do not have a police department and that we have regular patrol over."

The sheriff's office is working alongside the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency on updating all-hazard plans that cover a range of emergencies, from a gunman entering a school building to a natural disaster.

Liberty reported to Kennebec County commissioners that deputies took 1,300 calls for service in the month of January. There were 11 arrests, and eight search warrants for drugs were executed.

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