By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Law enforcement is re-shifting its focus to making sure students are safe and in school now that school is back in.
Since the start of Operation Safe Summer at the beginning of May, Tupelo police made sure they focused on making the summer safe and fun for children and on making sure summer mischief was kept to a minimum. Thanks to beefed up patrols at parks and other places frequented by school-aged children and the implementation of programs for parents and children to participate in during the summer, Maj. Anthony Hill said the summer was a safe and fun time.
But now that school bells will once again be ringing, Hill said police will have the same goals but a different approach.
“During summer we had a lot more kids out, so we really made sure we kept up patrols in places we knew they’d be to assure safety,” said Hill. “Now that school is back in well will still be out making sure students are safe, but our focus will be a little bit different than it is when school is out.”
Hill said now that school is back in, the daytime curfew is back in effect. No school age child can be on out in public before 2 p.m. during a school day unless accompanied by an adult. Another change will be that police will start back patrolling around the schools and at school bus stops, said Hill. School Resource Officers will be back in the schools patrolling the hallways as well.
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said because most of the children in the county head to Tupelo for entertainment and to hangout, there aren’t a lot of changes in enforcement between summer vacation and when they are in school. But accidents greatly increase when county schools take in.
“When school is in you have more kids driving everyday and the more they drive the greater the chance for accidents,” said Johnson. “We always up our patrols when school is in.”
Both Hill and Johnson said school traffic will be a big issue over the next week.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class is in session
Classes begin today for students in the Tupelo Public School District and tomorrow for those in Lee County Schools. The Baldwyn and Nettleton School Districts are also among those that begin the year on Thursday.