Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons says in light of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the need to have law enforcement presence on school grounds is now a top priority.
The sheriff is proposing putting deputies on school campuses in his county.
"I don't believe there is anyone in the community that would disagree with the fact that we need more security in our schools," Lemons says.
He hopes to make the schools in Clay County safer by having a full-time deputy patrol the county's four school districts: Henrietta ISD, Petrolia ISD, Midway ISD and Bellevue ISD.
"During the school year that officer would do nothing but work in these schools," Lemons says. "This officer is to provide educational programs, to be a part of the school but his number one goal is to be the security feature in the schools that represent a better way of protecting our kids."
Lemons says it's important to have a deputy on school grounds because three of the districts are in rural parts of the county.
"In the perfect world, we'd have one in each school but I understand the reasonable thing to do is take small steps in this program and start off with one and kind of divide that person in between the four schools in some kind of fair and equitable way," Lemons says.
School officials and county commissioners would have to agree on how to split the deputy's services but Lemons says he's already met with school officials at Petrolia ISD about the proposition and says he received great feedback from parents and staff.
"Us as a community as a whole, we have an interest in the future of our country and our future goes to these schools and we have to do everything we can to see to it that they're safe to receive the education that they need," Lemons says.
An education Lemons believes needs to be protected.
Sheriff Lemons wants to hear from parents, students and staff about having law enforcement on school property.
He will hold a meeting at Henrietta ISD on Thursday at 7 p.m., on Monday, Jan. 21 at Midway ISD at 7 p.m. and on Thursday. Jan. 24 at Bellevue ISD at 7 p.m.
Currently, there is no timeline as to when the deputies would start patrolling schools.
For more information, you can call Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons at 940.538.5611 or 940.636.0133.