To boost school safety, Erie officers do paperwork, administrative tasks at school campuses

Douglas County deputies launched similar program

ERIE, Colo. - In a new trend to boost school safety, Erie police says officers will do routine paperwork and administrative tasks on school campuses.  

Inspired to bolster school security by the December shooting inside Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School, law enforcement and school officials say the goal is to provide more school security without additional resources.

Erie calls its program the School Safety Patrol.

"This directive increases police visibility at schools and enhances overall operational effectiveness," the Erie Police Department said in a Friday news release. "Specifically, it provides a more strategic approach to how and where officers write their reports, work from their computers, return phone calls, or speak with students, parents and school staff."

Erie joins Douglas County, which recently talked to 7NEWS about how its deputies are voluntarily doing their paperwork in parking lots at the county district's 40-plus elementary schools.

In Douglas County, the presence of deputies on school campuses has been enthusiastically welcomed.

"Instead of pulling under a bridge or to a random parking lot to do their reports, they just find the local school nearest them and do it there," said Liz Fagan, superintendent for Douglas County Schools. "We love that."

As an added incentive, the school district invites Douglas County Sheriff's deputies into their schools for free lunch. The district picks up the $2.75 tab.

There's also an added convenience for the deputies as they type up their reports.

"The school district has opened up their Wi-Fi," said sheriff's Lt. Brian Murphy.  "Now we have access so we can upload and download our reports."

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