School officers watch over 17,000 students - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School officers watch over 17,000 students

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October 31, 2005

Albany -- There are about 17,000 students in the Dougherty County School system, in 29 different locations. The school board wants to keep all of them safe. That's why they created a Police Force, and Monday was their first day on duty.

When class is in session at Monroe Comprehensive High School, you won't see students roaming the hallways, because officer Sam Hill is on patrol. He's one of 11 police officers now on board with Dougherty County School System's Police Department.

School Police Chief Troy Conley says, "So far, everything has been extremely quiet, everything's gone rather smooth. Today is just a period of transition from the Sheriff's deputies and county police."

Most of those hired, like Officer Hill have worked as school resource officers before. "We were able to hire a number of individuals that had worked in the capacity."

Chief Conley says by having the officers in each Middle and High school, students will be less likely to get into trouble. "Not only are we trying to control situations or incidents that may occur on the school system's campuses, but we're also trying to keep the bad out."

And keep your children safe. "This is a step towards prevention and actually protecting our future." A future that lies in the hands of people like Officer Hill.

The police force will only have jurisdiction on the school system's campuses and at some other locations where school activities are taking place. Chief Conley hopes to hire at least five more officers for the force.

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