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Clinton Township, Macomb Township

Chippewa turns to local police for security help

February 14, 2013

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ronald Roberts announced at the Feb. 4 Board of Education meeting that both the Clinton Township police and Macomb County Sheriff’s Office will make spontaneous stops in district parking lots and school buildings.

Roberts said the Clinton Township Police Department contacted the superintendent to gauge his interest in having police officers spontaneously patrol the district’s buildings and parking lots. Subsequently, Roberts contacted Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, who also expressed interest in checking up on Chippewa schools in Macomb Township.

Roberts said the patrols would not be on a scheduled basis.

When they have the opportunity, officers will patrol parking lots of schools and inside the buildings.

“They do want to go into the buildings,” Roberts said. “It would be pretty casual — just have a presence.”

Roberts brought the matter to the board for advice before making a final decision on whether to have local police force patrol the schools.

“I thought this would be a welcome addition to our school,” Roberts said.

Board Vice President Denise Aquino said she was grateful for the offer.

“Any additional presence that makes people feel more secure, I don’t think that’s anything that would be unwelcome at a school,” Aquino said.

Wickersham said he has been getting requests from all school districts within communities his deputies patrol for extra security since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in December.

“I think what we’re going to do is make every effort to make a presence there, whether it’s passing through the parking lot or going through the school.”

In the meantime, Roberts has been meeting with central office administrators, school building officials and contractors about installing some type of buzzer-entry system in each school before the next school year.

The district also plans to receive input from parents before deciding what type of system they want to install.

Diane Blain, the director of school and community relations for Chippewa, said the district hopes to have a system approved by March, have bids placed in April and install the system in August or September. For the rest of the current school year, the district has hired extra, unarmed security to watch the entrances.

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