School safety changes in Richmond Co.


News 12 This Morning

August 14, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW)--"It was uneventful and unremarkable. So, we were happy about that," said Alfonzo Williams, Richmond County Schools Safety and Security Chief.

Uneventful and unremarkable--two words Williams is happy to use to describe the first day back for Richmond County students.

And after only about six months on the job as chief, Williams has made some changes--all to better keep students safe.

"We've had some advanced training," he explained. "We've realigned, the board has agreed with that realignment."

That realignment brought on a full staff of safety officers--one at every high school and middle school, and additional officers rotating between Elementary Schools.

The realignment also allows Williams to add new a position.

"It's an emergency preparedness officer for the school system," he said.

The emergency preparedness officer's job is to make sure every school is prepared for all types of scenario's--from tragedies like the Sandy Hook school shooting, to natural disasters like the tornado that tore through Moore, Oklahoma.

"Ensuring that we're ready for any crises that may occur," said Williams.

The district is also working with the county's Emergency Management Agency, where officials are urging parents to get more involved in their children's school safety.

"To start having people start taking care of themselves and developing a plan," said EMA Chief Byron Taylor.

Chief Taylor suggests parents use the Ready Georgia preparedness plan, which now has an app for parents to keep their plans all in one place while on the go.

"Talk with their children about disasters and things that might impact them," he said. "Where they would go, what they would do, where they would shelter."

The site and app provide practice plans and other material to help parents prepare their own plan for their family.

Just go to ready.ga.gov to get started online, or search Ready GA on your smartphone to download the app.

And parents in South Carolina can use it as well, or use the national site to get the same information. Just go to ready.gov


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