Worcester County Hires Security Deputies to Guard Schools - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Worcester County Hires Security Deputies to Guard Schools

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BERLIN, Md.- As the school year kicked off Monday morning, 13 armed police officers were stationed throughout Worcester County, to patrol all of the public schools. These officers are called school security deputies, and earlier this summer the Worcester County Commissioners decided these deputies would be present throughout the year.

The action was taken in response to the events nearly nine months ago, that took the lives of 20 children and six teachers during a shooting in Newtown, Conn. At Showell Elementary School in Berlin, Vicki Martin was stationed at her new gig, protecting the students. She worked for 27 years as an officer in Ocean City, focusing on protecting minors.

"My role here is to protect the students and to protect the faculty," she said. 

Throughout the county, deputies just like Martin were hired not only to prevent against school shootings, but also to advance dialogue between children and their local police forces.

"Basically it will be a deterrent meaning they'll see that we're not target soft," she said. "And we're here to protect the children. We're here to keep everybody safe."

Worcester County Safety Coordinator Steve Price said the decision to bring guns into the school was a tough one, but that it was necessary if they were going to protect the kids. He said that he didn't think of it as bringing in a gun though. More like inviting an officer to protect the schools.

"There's no antidote to evil," he said. "But we think this is a very strong deterrent. If someone was wanting to do harm in our buildings, we believe the school security deputies are the right face to have out front to protect our communities and protect our schools."

The addition of police officers is not the only change made in the Worcester County schools. This summer, many schools added buzzing systems so that the front office could identify all people entering the building.  

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