Deputies visiting schools

The Barbour County Sheriff’s Office began a new outreach effort Thursday involving deputies spending time inside the county schools, officials said.

The department is working with the Barbour Board of Education on the project. Superintendent Dr. Joseph Super said that he thinks deputies are planning on visiting each school for about an hour at a time.

Super said the sheriff’s department would work through the details, but he believes that all deputies will have the opportunity to visit schools in the county.

“They’re going to try to make sure that all staff is involved,” Super said.

While reaching out to students in the schools, deputies will be doing anything from simply sitting in classrooms with students to playing basketball in the gym with them, he said.

“It helps them realize that law enforcement is a positive thing,” Super said. “They know that this individual is in the building. They can turn to this individual if they need some help.”

Super said Sheriff John Hawkins and other police officers attended a county-wide meeting Thursday morning to discuss the program.

While visiting the schools, deputies will be able to establish a solid relationship with students, the school board and the community, Super said. All county schools will be able to have a deputy visit.

“That’s what we’re really, really appreciative of. They’re not isolating one or two (schools). They’re making a conscious effort to get to all our schools,” Super said. “I appreciate the outreach from law enforcement.”

The Inter-Mountain phoned the sheriff’s office throughout the day Thursday for comments and information, but officers were away from the office with other responsibilities, according to the sheriff’s office. No further information was available at this time.