Kirksville school officials beef up security

â??We've definitely beefed it up out here quite a bit,â?? Kirksville School Resources Officer Rich Harden said. â??We've got more officers on patrol and definitely around the school area.â??

Harden said in light of the tragic events in Connecticut last week, the officers have taken several measures to insure the safety students.

Superintendent Patrick Williams said each school building has a crisis plan and practices emergency response drills twice during the school year.

â??Weâ??ve adopted an emergency response manual... that teachers refer to in cases of emergency,â?? Superintendent Williams said.

If a lockdown occurs, teachers are instructed to lock the doors, turn off the lights and cover the windows.

Harden said the school employs one full time police officer.

â??Hopefully, (in the case of an emergency) I would be the first one here,â?? Harden said. He said if itâ??s something he couldnâ??t handle alone the entire police department would be called out to come to the scene.

The district is also installing $10,000 worth of new security door locks in the high school so teachers can lock the door from inside the class.

A news release issued by the Kirksville R-III School District said, â??All of these measures help be alert to potential problems; however, none are as important as the relationships fostered among students, staff and parents. It is the responsibility of everyone to help care for one another and for the community as a wholeâ?¦ Open communication between home and school is critical to the safety and well-being of our children.â??