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Marion County Law Enforcement Participates In '30 on 30' Program

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FAIRMONT -

School safety has been a concern across the country for the past few months.

It started with extra funding for security cameras, then moved to buzzers on the doors and an extensive check-in process.

Now, Marion County schools are taking the next step in protecting their students.

Twenty two schools and hundreds of students and faculty are a lot of responsibility if you're the superintendent.

"How can we serve the community," said Gary Price, Marion County Superintendent of Schools. "We know we can't afford to try to have a pro-officer in every school."

You can't enter any school in Marion County without using a buzzer system.

Once you're buzzed into the school, you need to come into the office and sign in. You will then hand over your license and get a visitors pass.

"Rather then sit here and hope that it never happens, we're going to be proactive and we're going to try to make our schools as safe as we possibly can," said Sergeant Glenn Staley, Fairmont Police Department.

The Marion County Board of Education recently met with law enforcement throughout the county and came up with the 30 on 30 program.

"We are attempting to get additional police presence in the schools that doesn't cost an additional expense for the Board of Education," Price said.

Law enforcement from every municipality are involved in the program.

"It was one of our very smallest communities, Barrackville, that stepped forward and said 'no, we think this is important. We're not charging you a penny. We are going to be there every day, twice a day'," Price said. "All of the other communities have followed suit."

"We will do walk arounds, we'll check the physical security of the buildings, check the doors make sure all of the doors are locked," Sgt. Staley said.

The program aims to make students, faculty, and parents feel more at ease.

"I'd rather a parent call and say 'hey, why is a policeman here' then have a principal call and say 'hey, we need a policeman here'," Price said.

Officers enter each Marion County school twice a day for 30 minutes each, Monday through Friday.

Price said nothing is more important than the safety of the students.