Sussex Tech enhances safe learning environment

September 14, 2013

Sussex Technical School District is enhancing its ability to provide a safe and secure learning environment for its students, staff and school community by providing the ability for designated school climate officers to carry weapons/handguns. Each of the officers has more than 20 years of experience as a trooper with the Delaware State Police and has met requirements to qualify two times a year with both a handgun and shotgun.

Now retired, these officers monitor the entrance, grounds and buildings of Sussex Technical High School. Both officers have had extensive training in law enforcement and are certified to carry weapons/handguns.

The first climate officer previously taught criminal justice at Sussex Tech following his retirement from the Delaware State Police. During his law enforcement career, he spent 16 years in the Delaware State Police Youth Aid Division, 13 years as a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) instructor, and 10 years as the director of the Delaware State Police Summer Youth Camp at Camp Barnes. He also spent five years with the Department of Correction as a corrections officer and a member of the Correctional Emergency Response Team.

The second climate officer spent five years in the Delaware State Police as a supervisor of the State Police Youth Aid Division in Sussex County, which included the supervision of 10 school resource officers and two D.A.R.E. officers. He also coordinated and reviewed the Megan’s Law Sex Offender Registry for Sussex County. The officer spent two years as supervisor of the Major Crimes Unit, which included eight detectives who investigated rapes, robberies and child sexual abuse cases.

The officers have been instrumental in the creation of the enhanced security instituted at Sussex Tech.

"We at the Sussex Technical School District are proud to have the opportunity to increase our effectiveness in providing a safe and secure learning environment to our students, staff and school community. These dedicated officers will increase response time and add another well-prepared layer of preventive security for our school. Our board of education is to be commended for placing such a strong emphasis on safety and security," said District Superintendent Dr. A.J. Lathbury.


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