Thursday, December 12 2013 11:47 PM EST2013-12-13 04:47:22 GMT
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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Toledo Public Schools is teaming up with the Toledo Police Department to make sure this school year is a safe one.
TPS and TPD have been a team in student safety for years, but they say as the times change, the way they keep students safe has to change, as well.
School resource officers will now be on Facebook, and staff and students are training to survive threats.
"Safety is always the priority for our district, it's our number one priority," said Assistant Superintendent Brian Murphy. "We want to make sure that our kids come to school in a safe environment…where learning is the focus, and academic achievement is the outcome."
The district and police department are already in the process of implementing plans that will change the way safety is handled. That includes training officers to respond to active shooters.
"We have to adapt to the changes that have happened in society," said Lt. Phillip Cook, of TPD. "We can't ignore the fact that there are certain risks for schools, and we want to be as prepared as possible to deal with those risks."
And school resource officers are turning to Facebook to help curb bullying. They are creating profiles, backed by Toledo Police. Students and community members will be able to friend the resource officers and send them private messages about bullying incidents.
"Social media is obviously growing more and more popular each and every day," Murphy said. "If our officers can get trained and work with the Toledo Police Department regarding preventative action when it comes to bullying and social media and that type of thing, we're all for it."
Both groups say this is only the beginning.
"Our hope is that we have a peaceful school year, and yes, we are constantly looking for better ways to do this job," Cook said. "We have to keep our eyes and ear open to things that are occurring."