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Chesterfield’s School Safety Task Force meets for first time

CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- Chesterfield County’s new School Safety Task Force met for the first time Tuesday.

The group is made up of citizen appointees, including students and parents, as well as leaders from around the region and state. Brian Moran, the Virginia Secretary for Public Safety and Homeland Security is also on the task force.

School board member Dianne Smith helped create the task force, and members were appointed from each of the county’s five magisterial districts. The School Board accepted applications from community members to serve on the School Safety Task Force and Working Groups.

“It’s to review the protocol and to review best practices that are now in place that we want to see either revised or destabilized moving forward,” Smith said.

A student at James River High School said she would like to see the school system address mental illness.

“I really think the task force would benefit from listening to the students and understanding that there are so many preventative steps that can be taken before reaching those crisis points, so I definitely think addressing the needs of teenage mental illness and of general student support services,” Morgan Rhudy said.

There are several working groups in the task force. One focuses on partnership between Chesterfield Police and schools, with a dialogue around subject like the role of School Resource Officers. Another working group will focus on the strategy of school safety, including critical incident planning, security cameras and a video doorbell entrance system.

The next task force meeting is May 23. You can read more here.