Superintendents and Law Enforcement Meet to Discuss Safety At Schools

<p>Shannon Hicks/The Newtown Bee</p>

Shannon Hicks/The Newtown Bee

Three weeks after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, Yakima County School superintendents and the Yakima County Sheriff's Department meet this morning to discuss safety options following the tragedy in Connecticut.

We met with Carrie Greenough, who lives in Union Gap.

Her daughter is a junior at Eisenhower High School, and admits school safety has been on her mind more since the Sandy Hook shootings.

At this mornings meeting with the Yakima Sheriff's Department, county superintendents discussed  several options to increase school safety.

Some ideas includwed improving buildings by adding security locks and alarms, hiring more school resource officers, and even potentially arming educators.

Greenough says the issue has left her very unsure of what course of action would be best.

"I'm really torn, I'd hate to see it come to that point," said Greenough, "But then, we wanna be safe and be proactive. So I don't want to live in denial either."

Other parents say the movement to improve school safety shouldn't fall on just law enforcement and schools.

Jerry Roybal's grandchild attends Roosevelt Elementary

The school staff has a lot on their hands right now and they do a tremendous good job here, i've met most of them," said Roybal, "I just think more people need to get involved; more eyes out here to see what's going on."

The sheriff's office says it's been working a number of years to up security at school districts throughout the county.

The shooting in Connecticut only prompted them to kick those efforts into high gear.

"It took it to a different level that we've not experienced before," said school safety and security coordinator Randy Town, "And it's really raised a lot of concerns with the community members and parents, school officials, and law enforcement."

"We are not in denial in Yakima County. We know that it could happen here, and we are preparing accordingly," said Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Brian Winter.

Carrie Greenough says she may remain unsure for a while, but knows that safety comes first.

"It just shows with that meeting we're going to be proactive, not reactive," said Greenough.

The Yakima County Sheriff's Office says it will take a few months, and more meetings before any decisions on a specific course of action are made.