Mayor holds school security meeting

The safety of students in Knox County is taking top priority for local law enforcement and school officials.

In a meeting Thursday at the request of Mayor David Thompson, Barbourville Independent Schools Superintendent Kay Dixon and Knox County Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles were joined by Kentucky State Police Public Affairs Officer Shane Jacobs, Barbourville Police Chief Winston Tye, Sheriff Mike Smith, and Union College Campus Security Director Joe Gibson, the Mountain Advocate, and others to discuss measures being taken to ensure schools remain safe in the face of violent threats.

Ideas such as metal detectors and other notable first-alert systems were discussed, but for security reasons, most details of Thursday’s meeting will remain confidential.

Much of the discussion lead to the agreement that communication must remain strong among the individual schools, their central offices and law enforcement.

Because of differing technologies and the barriers in communication law enforcement often faces, reports of suspected violence or threats to any school should be immediately addressed by calling 9-1-1 Dispatch. Dispatch officers have the means to make all local authorities aware simultaneously of any threat.