VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Safety additions are heading for Virginia Beach Public Schools as students go back to class Tuesday morning.
Tommy DeMartini works as the director of the Office of Security for the division. He says they take a proactive approach when it comes to security measures.
“I think with what’s happened around the country there’s an emphasis on school security probably more so now than in years past, but it’s always been a priority to us,” DeMartini said.
He explained they have two new initiatives to bulk up safety this year.
The first is the hiring of an emergency manager, which is a completely new position.
“We are recommending a hire here shortly. That person is going to help us align with the city and the city’s emergency management team and our ability to react to a crisis,” said DeMartini.
Plus, a new armed security officer program.
“We will potentially arm former law enforcement officers that currently work for us and future law enforcement officers who apply for jobs with us as long as they meet the criteria and pass our training,” he stated.
DeMartini said they are prepared to implement that program on the first day of school. He couldn’t say which schools will have the armed security officers for safety reasons. The new position and initiative are new layers to the school system’s already robust security protocols.
“Security is a team effort, and we continue to educate teachers and principals and our staff on how to maintain a secure environment in the schools and we can continue to emphasize that,” said DeMartini.