GES gets direct line to law enforcement

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 17, 2000

Staff Writer

Dec. 16, 2000 10 PM

GOSHEN ­ In the event there is ever a problem at Goshen Elementary, school officials will have a direct line to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office.

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On Thursday, Sheriff Russell Thomas hooked up a new radio for the school.

Thomas also presented radios to Goshen High School, Banks Primary School and Banks Junior High School.

The four radios, which have two channels for communication, will be kept in the school offices in the event officials need to get immediate help from the sheriff’s department.

"In time of need, the radio is quicker than the telephone," Thomas said.

The sheriff said the radio will also increase his deputies’ response time because everyone can be in constant contact which isn’t possible via the telephone.

Thomas said sometimes a person will call the department and hang up before authorities can get all the information necessary.

"Thankfully, we don’t have a lot of those situations," Thomas said.

But, one never knows what will happen and it is better to be prepared for the worst.

Cost of the radios was $4,500. State Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne, gave the county $4,000 and the sheriff’s department chipped in the other $500.

"This appealed to me because of all the violence we have in schools these days," Mitchell said. "I thought if this could help, I wanted to be a part of the program."

Thomas expressed appreciation to Mitchell and Pike County Commissioner Ray Goodson for helping to get the money used to purchase the radios.

Mark Bazzell, assistant superintendent for the Pike County Schools and coordinator of security, said the schools are "most appreciative" for the radios.

"It’s particularly important for those four schools to have immediate contact with the sheriff’s department," Bazzell said.

The four schools which received the radios are the only ones not in a municipality’s police jurisdiction.