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One of the Twin Falls Police Department's strongest partnerships is with the local school district. And in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, the department is working to ensure that the partnership is one that can quickly identify problems before they become incidents.
The Twin Falls City Council learned on Monday, April 8, about the partnership between the department and the Twin Falls School District to protect students and staff members from violent incidents - both large and small.
Twin Falls City Council members asked the department to provide the presentation as an informational item following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six staff members.
"We can't attribute these school shooting to any one characteristic," Twin Falls Police Department Capt. Matt Hicks told council members. "Our general philosophy with these kinds of things is event mitigation."
Mitigation includes identifying problems or concerns as early as possible and to minimize the amount of damage if an event occurs.
The City of Twin Falls and the Twin Falls School District have partnered together to fund four full-time student resource officers who work with students and school staff members at 13 school buildings in the district.
"The partnership between the school district and the department has been around since 1976," said Twin Falls Police Department Staff Sergeant Dennis Pullin. "It's really amazing how well it works between the schools and the resource officers."
Hicks added that the Twin Falls Police Department is working with the Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office to develop a coordinated response plans in case of an incident.