By BEN REED
CHEROKEE CHIEF OF POLICE
On Monday, Dec. 17, the Cherokee Indian Police Department (CIPD) increased
patrols and officer presence at the Cherokee Central School System. The patrols are in lieu of the events that happened at Sandy Hook on Dec. 14. This is NOT a situation where CIPD saw what happened at Sandy Hook and just realized that this could happen here in Cherokee. We, CIPD, are well aware each and every day of the dangers our community and children face.
This response is primarily for our children, in hopes that by increasing our presence in the schools, they will have a little reassurance and piece of mind that the police officers are there and will do everything we can to protect them. The events at Sandy Hook will never be forgotten but the next few weeks will be very emotional for our children, staff, and parents.
Although no community can ever fully prepare for such a tragedy, (physically and/or emotionally) our Emergency Responders and School System have put measures in place long before this. There are many security measures currently in place that I believe are and have been effective. When a tragedy happens, it’s easy for everyone to point out what could have been done better at that particular time. What is very difficult to evaluate, are the times when security measures thwarted a possible assault. It’s difficult to evaluate because the potential threat was diverted and no one ever knew about it. We know this is true due to occasions when an offender is apprehended by law enforcement for unrelated crimes and confesses to ideas that they had and were not able to carry them out due to security measures. This is always good Intel for law enforcement authorities.
Rapid Response procedures and plans should never lay dormant, but always critiqued and enhanced by planning and training. Meetings are currently scheduled to evaluate existing plans and make necessary adjustments to improve them. There has been and will be more communication between CIPD, Emergency Services, Emergency Management, and CherokeeCentralSchools in regards to security and rapid response to critical incidents within the school system.
CIPD has a School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to each school (3). The SROs are there first and foremost for the safety of our kids, staff, and visitors. The SROs also spend a lot of time in the classrooms, investigating incidents, talking to students, and dealing with various issues. The extra patrols will assist them in providing the security needed throughout this difficult time. We hope to continue to provide the utmost protection for our children and community and will focus resources to do so.
Please pray for our community…