Grady County Schools launches police force in wake of recent threats

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 14, 2019

CAIRO, Ga. (WCTV) -- Cairo High School has seen four security scares in four months, each of which has prompted a lockdown.

In February, a student brought a BB gun to school. The next month, there was a murder nearby. There was a threat made on social media last week, followed by another threat on Monday made via phone call.

Now, Grady County Schools has started something completely new this year that you won't see in any surrounding school system. It's a tactic administrators say is an extra layer of security that is already providing a quicker response.

"Locked the school down, secure it. Get as many officers there as possible. Set up a perimeter," instructed Grady County Schools Police Chief Redell Walton during a well-practiced procedure at Cairo High School.

Chief Walton is part of Grady County Schools' very own police force. It's a new way of keeping campuses secure and kids safe, whether threats are credible or not.

Chief Walton says the police force is separate from a school resource officer, and they are hoping to soon have one officer in every school.

"Quirks of the building. Hiding spots and dead spots for cameras. They're just familiar with it, like the staff and each classroom, and that cuts down in response time in case of emergency," Walton explained.

On Monday, a school officer answered one of two threatening calls. While school police secure students and the campus, city investigators looked for leads and tracked the calls.

Cairo High's principal says any kind of threat to student safety is taken very seriously. Several events on campus Monday afternoon were canceled and are now in the process of being rescheduled.

The Cairo Police Department is still investigating the threats.



 
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