Sheriff, citizen group seek to make local schools safer

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – The leadership of the Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department, as well as a newly formed citizen group, want to ensure that Kalkaska County doesn’t join the list of cities and schools, such as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that have been the victims of mass shootings.

The Parkland school was the site of one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history when a former student, Nikolas Cruz, shot and killed 17 students before being arrested outside the building on Feb. 14.

At the Kalkaska Public Schools Board of Education regular monthly meeting on Monday, March 12, Sheriff Patrick Whiteford informed board members he and his staff had recently re-arranged the department’s patrol schedule allowing for one deputy to be available to visit all school buildings within the county on any given school day.

“The intent of this position is to make contact with every building every day,” Whiteford said. 

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