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franklin county times

Police handle fewer public school cases

By By Steve Gillespie/staff writer
Feb. 27, 2002
Meridian police are now handling 75 percent fewer juvenile cases during school hours after the department reduced its presence on school campuses, Chief Benny DuBose said Tuesday.
Last month, schools began calling police to the campuses only for serious problems such as weapons and drugs. Parents are called for lesser offenses, such as disturbing the peace.
The police chief met Tuesday with the Meridian School Board to discuss his agency's relationship with the public school district. The board took no action during the work session.
School Superintendent Janet McLin said that school safety became an all-consuming issue after a rash of school shootings across the country in recent years.
Sam Thompson, the school district's safety director, said the district began reducing calls to police five years ago after he assumed his position.
Thompson developed a "three-strike policy" that didn't require schools to call police for students fighting until after the third time a particular student was involved in a fight.
Ed Lynch, school board vice president, said the working relationship with police should be an ongoing process.

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