Johnstown Independent

Sheriff's office to start patrolling Northridge schools

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The Northridge Local School District has taken additional security measures to keep students and staff members safe.

Superintendent Chris Briggs said a service agreement with the Licking County Sheriff's Office was reached in late October to have deputies patrol inside and outside school campuses during the school day.

"The goal is for the officers to build relationships with our students and staff, as well as be a first respondent on our school campuses," Briggs said. "We decided to move in this direction to increase the safety and security of our students and staff. I also wanted to establish a collaborative relationship with our local law-enforcement agency."

Lt. Chris Slayman, of the Licking County Sheriff's Office, said no single officer would be assigned to Northridge, such as a school resource officer. Instead, he said, multiple officers will patrol in rotation.

"We are trying to assist Northridge schools by partnering with them for the sake of greater school safety through our presence and visibility," Slayman said. "We provide a very similar detail for Lakewood Local Schools, as well.

"Both of these districts wanted to go the extra mile for the sake of safety for their students and staff, and we are happy to serve both of them," he said.

Briggs said Northridge doesn't have a student resource officer, so the partnership with Licking County is considered an extra duty agreement.

Northridge agreed to pay $30 per hour plus $7 for a cruiser for each hour of actual use.

"The only agreement we have with Licking County is that they will be on campus when school is in session, and we do not pay for services when students are not here," Briggs said. "We are extremely excited to establish this partnership with the Licking County Sheriff's Department.

"We believe having the presence of uniformed officers and a cruiser visible on our school campuses will let our community know that we are taking the necessary steps to keep our students and staff safe while keeping our focus on improving student achievement."

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