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Clay County Sheriff meets with Henrietta ISD to discuss putting deputies on campuses

Sheriff Lemons discusses putting law enforcement on school grounds during the school year with Henrietta ISD officials, parents and staff.

Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons met with Henrietta ISD officials on Thursday evening to gather their thoughts on a proposition that would allow a deputy on school campuses during the school year.

During the meeting, Sheriff Lemons said in light of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the need to have a presence of law enforcement on school grounds is a top priority.

Lemons hopes to make schools safer by having a full-time deputy patrol the four school districts that make up the county: Henrietta ISD, Petrolia ISD, Midway ISD and Bellevue ISD.

Lemons met with Petrolia ISD officials earlier in the week about the proposition, and says he received great feedback from parents and staff there.

However, the sheriff is hoping for support throughout the whole county because three of the districts are in rural areas.

Henrietta ISD Superintendent Jeff McClure says he is open to dialogue on allowing law enforcement on school property.

"They've always made themselves available as needed and we hope to continue that and we're open to possibilities of developing a closer relationship that will be determined by the board and set in policy at some time," McClure says.

For parents of students who attend Henrietta ISD like Jason Sherrill, the idea of having someone patrol and monitor students while at school is comforting.

"You never know anymore it can happen anywhere, small town, big town, doesn't matter," Sherill says. "You know, having the sheriff department around. they're familiar with what they do so it'd be alright for them to be here."

Henrietta school officials say they would not be oppose allowing trained teachers and staff carry concealed weapons like what is currently being done at Harrold ISD.

Lemons says he'd have to hire a new deputy for the position, and school officials and county commissioners would have to agree on how to split the deputy's services.

If you missed Thursday's meeting in Henrietta, the sheriff will hold two more more opportunities next week.

On Monday, Jan. 21at Midway ISD and on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Bellevue ISD.

Both meetings start at 7 p.m.

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