Laurens Co. officials have plan to keep schools safe - FOX Carolina 21

Laurens Co. officials have plan to keep schools safe

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Laurens Co. School District 55 and Laurens Co. Sheriff's Office officials are working together on the substation plan. (File/FOX Carolina) Laurens Co. School District 55 and Laurens Co. Sheriff's Office officials are working together on the substation plan. (File/FOX Carolina)
LAURENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When it comes to Upstate security at schools, one county is planning a way to get more deputies on campuses, without breaking the bank.

Putting a school resource officer in every school in the state is the goal for the State Law Enforcement Division's chief, but it could cost taxpayers $80 million a year.

The superintendent of School District 55 and Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain are thinking outside the box and making plans to create sheriff's substations at schools. This way, deputies can be on and around campus more often, without needing to hire more people.

After Laurens County and the town of Clinton both had scares when threatening letters were sent to school district offices 55 and 56, Chastain said he and school officials have had discussions into how they can keep schools safe.

He realizes that tight budgets mean the dream for school resource officers in every school in the state may not be a reality for a while.

"When we went to school, you didn't think of someone walking into a school and begin shooting. But now that's a reality that it appears that we have to live with," said Chastain.

With sheriff's substations at schools, Chastain said deputies would only need a little bit of office space and a computer connection. He said both the deputies and the schools would benefit. They hope to start this collaboration by next school year.

So far, no arrests have been made in the threatening letters case. There is a $15,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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