BENTON, Ark – As school begins for students in Saline County, Benton Police is putting ‘student safety’ on the top of its priorities.
Officers say they have been working all summer to fine tune their safety measures making sure campuses are ready for students’ return.
“We’re taking care of the physical needs of the building, making sure they’re as secure as they could possibly be and then getting people trained to know what to do if there is a crisis situation,” said Lt. Quinton Jackson with BNPD.
Jackson says conversation about school safety is at its peak this year following the shooting out of Uvalde, Texas.
He says many parents and teachers have had questions about what this year will look like.
“People are concerned and want to know,” said Lt. Jackson.
The Benton Police Department participates in active shooter training every year. Jackson says this year the training held more weight, reminding officers exercises can turn real in a matter of minutes.
“In a crisis situation, you’re going to revert to your lowest form of training and if your training is zero then zero is what you get,” said Jackson.
The Benton Police Department says they have a School Resource Officer (SRO) at every campus in the district.
With an extra set of feet in the halls, Jackson reassures parents there will be someone in the school prepared for the worse but hoping for the best.
“It’s building those relationships because that’s really what it’s all about, and serving our community,” said Jackson.
Jackson says officers will work throughout the year to fine tune any safety measures that need a second look.