By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Local law enforcement and schools agree that the “30 on 30” school safety project is worthwhile.
“We’re feeling absolutely great about it from a county standpoint, from an administrative standpoint, from a community-effort standpoint,” said Andy Neptune, administrative assistant of human resources and student support services for Marion County Schools.
“I think it’s been nothing but very positive.”
He said Marion County Schools initially began looking at the state’s Prevention Resource Officer (PRO) Program, which is under the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services, that places officers in West Virginia schools. Neptune and Ray Frazier, safety coordinator for Marion County Schools, are now starting the process of applying for grants for PROs for next year.
While it would be great to have officers stationed in the local schools, especially the high schools, all day long, the “30 on 30” project is a great step and shows the support of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Fairmont Police Department and the community police departments. All the cities and towns were more than willing to get involved in the effort, Neptune said.
His initial concern was whether the board of education would have to supplement the income of the police officers for these additional duties, but the communities agreed to cover the costs.
“Everybody wants to invest in the schools,” Neptune said. “We appreciate the continued support from those ... entities. We continue to thank all those in charge.”
The program is based on the idea of police officers coming to the schools for approximately 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon each day and walking through the buildings and around the grounds.