ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Lindbergh High School is taking advantage of using the Missouri State Highway Patrol to conduct random walkthroughs at schools.
“The Missouri Highway Patrol was here (Thursday) in our school here at Lindbergh and any increased presence from law enforcement is welcome and we have the same goal of keeping kids safe,” said Beth Johnston, communications director for the Lindbergh School District.
State Rep. David Gregory (R-District 96) set up a first of its kind meeting two weeks ago between law enforcement, school officials, and parents from the schools in his district, Lindbergh, Rockwood, and Mehlville. Lots of positive ideas came from the meeting, such as Lindbergh officials asking the MSHP to walk their schools.
“We're very happy to extend that to other law enforcement agencies and happy to see collaboration from the whole community,” Johnston said.
At present, the state police will visit schools if asked. St. Louis County police also have the ability to visit schools in this district, as well as Sunset Hills police. All will be working together.
“Ideally speaking, we would love to have a full-time officer there in every school, but that's going to cost lots of money,” said Sunset Hills Police Chief Steven Dodge.
The next best option is to have a consistent presence in schools as much as possible when they are not handling other cases. And it’s not just about showing up.
“You get to meet kids, they get excited to see officers in uniform and talk to them,” Dodge said.
Gregory will also be conducting town hall meetings to discuss other proactive ways to keep kids safe at school.
For any school wishing to have the Missouri State Highway Patrol do walkthroughs, just call 636-300-2800 and ask for Cpl. Justin Wheatley.