FCPS makes school safety changes

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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.

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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 advisorycouncil@fayette.kyschools.us. 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.

FCPS Safety Advisory Council 2.22.18 press release final

 

FCPS Security Changes

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!