DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - New security measures, including metal detectors, are now in place for Dougherty County High Schools, as the district works to take safety to the next level.
"Without safety or a safe environment, you can't have education," explained Dougherty County School System Police Chief Troy Conley when asked about security.
Conley said he's working hard to ensure all students in Dougherty County are safe.
"We've gotten off to a great start this year," said Conley.
But there is a change, specifically at the high school level.
When anyone walks into the high schools, they have to walk through a metal detector.
"We don't want weapons on our campuses," explained Conley. "And the use of walk through metal detectors actually detour individuals from bringing unwanted items onto our campuses."
Conley said the detectors were not prompted by anything specific. He said they are just a new way of thinking to ensure safety.
"We continue to think outside of the box and just look for new and innovative ways to provide a safer environment," said Conley.
This year the school police department is also working to strengthen relationships with the students.
"You'd be surprised once you develop a relationship with individuals that you see on a day-to-day basis what information will come across your desk," said Conley.
Conley said he wants students to feel comfortable around officers. He said there are mentor programs in some of the schools, but this year Conley wants to expand those programs.
"Our plan this year is to make sure this program makes it to all of our elementary schools," said Conley.
Despite some concern realigning the district, Conley said there have been no issues at any of the schools.
"I applaud the principals for going the extra mile and pretty much developing an environment where they welcomed the new students," explained Conley.
All of the entrances to every high school have the security detectors now.
Conley said there have been talks about detectors them for high populated events, like sports games as well.
Copyright 2017 WALB. All rights reserved.