Police to increase presence at Lenoir schools
Nervous parents across the county will send their children off for the first day of classes Monday. In Lenoir, police aim to put them at ease this school year by stepping up patrols in schools as a safety and security measure.
Currently, there is one community resource officer at Hibriten and West Caldwell schools and William Lenoir Middle School, but only one DARE officer patrols the elementary schools throughout the city.
“We will be patrolling the school grounds, streets and highways,” Lt. Andy Wilson said.
Buses also will be hitting the streets en masse on Monday, giving concern for officers already focused on rush-hour traffic.
There have been 12 fatalities since 1998 resulting from someone illegally passing school buses in North Carolina, according to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Four of those deaths occurred last school year, half of the national total of such fatalities, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association.
“School buses will be starting back up, and with that comes an increased risk of kids getting hurt while getting in and out of schools,” Wilson added. “Traffic enforcement teams will be paying more attention to bus routes, and are making efforts to educate parents and school-age children about bus safety.”