BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Schools are supposed to be safe places for teaching and learning. Unfortunately these days students are sometimes caught in the middle of things such as violence, bullying, drugs, or gang activity.
"It's very important that departments work proactively so they have the planning in place and processes in place to be able to react effectively to situations going on in schools today," the International Association of Chiefs of Police Project Specialist Sabrina Rhodes said.
Law enforcement officials from Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama have come together in Biloxi with school officials to look over their plans and make changes if needed to ensure schools are as safe as possible.
"We deal with student confrontations on a daily basis and those confrontations can be verbal to the point of physical," Biloxi Public Schools Director of Student Services Glenn Dedeaux said.
Dedeaux said having school resource officers on campus is a big help in deterring violence and crime.
"That police presence at the schools is very helpful in making sure students are safe and students feel safe when the school resource officer is there," Dedeaux said.
Biloxi schools also have a close relationship with the Biloxi Police Department.
Sgt. Jackie Rhodes said, "It's very important to keep the communication going between the schools, between the police, between the fire department, ambulance services, hospitals, so if something happens at a school we are all on the same page."
By reviewing their own plans and looking at others, police believe they can leave with an even better plan of action for any situation.
"We are hoping they will have a couple of solid things they can take back to their jurisdictions to be able to look at how they can better improve their school safety on their campuses," Sabrina Rhodes said.