LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- As the country grapples with how to make schools safer, Fayette County says it’s making changes to its security protocols now.
The district announced Thursday martin Schafer will be its new interim Head of Law Enforcement.
He is a six year department veteran. Schafer takes over for Larence Weathers who is going on to be Lexington’s next Police Chief.
“We take safety to heart and will continue to grow upon the great works and accomplishments of Chief Weathers,” Schafer said.
Before coming to the district, Schafer was a KSP Trooper and an Army National Guard member who has done two tours in Iraq.
He isn’t the only change to Fayette Schools’ security plans.
Superintendent Manny Caulk also announced Thursday there will be several immediate changes to make schools safer, including requiring secondary schools to use metal detector wands more frequently.
“These are just the first changes you will see,” Caulk said.
He says he’s also creating a district School Safety Advisory Council to meet over the next five weeks to come up with recommendations before the end of the legislative session.
“We have taken precautions and developed plans, but it’s time to have some open and honest dialogue about what else we are willing to do. We have to be willing to do what is uncomfortable,” Caulk said.
Mayor Jim Gray says if the council feels metal detectors would be useful, he’ll ask the Urban County Council to pay for them.
“Mr. Superintendent, we are ready to work with you and support you,” Gray pledged.
Mayor Gray says it’s insane Washington, D.C. isn’t treating school safety like the crisis he says it is.
“We obviously can’t and won’t wait for Washington, D.C. to act. It is up to us, it is up to locals to act and we know enough is enough,” Gray said.
Gray, Schafer, and Caulk all agreed having more trained officers in schools is preferable to arming teachers.
It’s an issue the Safety Advisory Council will likely take on, in addition to talk about mental health and social media. Its first meeting will be in March.
You can participate by sending comments and questions to email@example.com. You are welcome to attend the meetings. They will also be broadcast on FCPS-ETV.
The first meeting will feature Jon Akers, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety and William “Bill” Modzeleski, a senior consultant in school safety.