Franklin County Sheriff pushes for more deputies in schools -

Franklin County Sheriff pushes for more deputies in schools

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Franklin County Sheriff's Department (Credit: KMOV) Franklin County Sheriff's Department (Credit: KMOV)

A new sheriff is making a new push to invest more time in our youth.

Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton took office at the beginning of the year. Now, he is working on a program to get more of his deputies in county schools.

“It’s very important any time we can take time to build positive relationships with the youth,” said Sheriff Pelton “What that consists of is deputies walking through schools more often. Maybe getting a chance to walk out on the playground and build positive relationships. That youth is our future.”

The sheriff said too often children only see law enforcement in a crisis situation, like a car crash or domestic argument, so this is one way to change that.

Right now, he is working out logistics with leaders of rural county schools who do not already have resource officers on hand. They are trying to find time that the deputies can stop by and talk about internet safety, the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and texting and driving.

Sheriff Pelton wants to focus on students who are about to enter high school. The 8th grade intervention program he has in mind would complement the D.A.R.E. program which usually takes place in 5th grade. He believes positive relationships with law enforcement will help build leaders within youth organizations.

“It gets them back to taking care of each other. A lot of people think about drugs and alcohol but it’s bigger than that,” said Sheriff Pelton. “If you have two young kids in a car, one of them is texting and driving, the one driving, if the other one is just confident enough to tell them it’s not worth it, put that phone down, then we can take care of the kids better and that’s some of the stuff we are looking at to foster and grow that kind of environment.”

Sheriff Pelton said they have already piloted the program in some schools and they hope to get into more schools this spring.

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