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New Diana ISD set to introduce resource officers for '13-14

By by Reese Gordon
Aug. 4, 2013 at 11 p.m.

When New Diana students go back to school this year, they will notice one big difference from previous years.

Two full-time school resource officers will be on duty at the campuses starting Aug. 19, according to Superintendent Carl Key. One officer will be stationed at campuses east of U.S. 259 while the other officer will be stationed at the school west of U.S. 259, Key said.

Beginning his second year as superintendent of New Diana ISD, Key said the Upshur County Sheriff's Department has hired two new deputies, with New Diana ISD paying their salaries.

"We entered into a partnership agreement with the Upshur County Sheriff's Department where we will be provided two school resource officers," Key said. "They will be our go-to guys when it comes to after-hour security during football games or any other event."

Upshur County Commissioners approved the allotment of two resource officers May 31 in a split vote. County Judge Dean Fowler cast the deciding vote to approve New Diana's request for the officers. New Diana ISD must pay $45,000 per officer, according to the Commissioners Court meeting.

A community with no police department of its own, New Diana ISD has had deputies on campus before - one deputy each Thursday in the past.

Key said the introduction of two full-time officers will provide more peace of mind to both faculty and students.

"Any time you have a presence of law enforcement, it gives people a little more sense of ease," Key said.

Key cited the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in December as a factor in the district's push for heightened security.

"After Sandy Hook, everyone's vigilance was probably heightened," he said. "We began asking what we could do to enhance the current security measures."

Key said he wrestled with the idea of staff carrying a concealed weapon, but the thought of adding trained deputies made him feel more comfortable.

While New Diana ISD faculty and staff members return to work Aug. 19, students go back to class Aug. 26.



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