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Beauregard Parish officials weigh in on parish’s school safety

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:45 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A school shooting is the last thing anyone wants to think about, but the Uvalde tragedy shows that these kinds of incidents can happen anywhere.

In addition to extra officers at school events, Beauregard Parish Sheriff Mark Herford said each school in the district has a resource officer.

“All of the schools in the parish, out of the parish, have an individual school resource officer that stays at that school,” Sheriff Herford said. “They receive specialized training. They are adept to do what they are trained to do.”

These resource officers follow up on information they receive from the students.

“The school resource officer immediately notifies our detective division or our patrol commander, and we immediately start patrolling those things whatever they may be,” Sheriff Herford said.

DeRidder Police Chief, Craig Richard, said their department recently started up a Special Reaction Team to handle situations like an active shooter.

“We try to go to schools throughout the year to try and practice drills and everything, so we can be ready and respond,” Chief Richard said.

But the public can help also help. Sheriff Herford said there can be warning signs that family and friends should be aware of and not be afraid to report.

“Are they becoming more isolated, are they writing graphic things, are they telling people they want to do this or that they wish they could do this,” Sheriff Herford said.

Chief Richard said communication is key to preventing incidents like these.

“Communication starts at the home, them watching their children, watching their activities, all the way to the teachers watching that and sharing that,” Chief Richard said.

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