WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) - Wyoming police officers say they are committed to visiting every school in the city every day class is in session in an effort to make schools safer and foster a stronger relationship with the community.
"The police just aren't expected to be at the schools and I'm not sure that's a great thing," Wyoming Lt. James Maguffee said after describing a recent situation during which worried parents called school leaders at the sight of a couple of Wyoming Police cruisers at the school.
Maguffee said officers will visit each of the 40 public and private schools at random times to check the perimeter and walk the halls.
Another added benefit will be that officers will learn the layout of the city's school buildings, which could be critical in the event of an emergency.
But the biggest benefit, Maguffee says, will come in the relationships officers foster with the community they serve.
Police cite the large number of people in schools during the day, emphasizing the notion that they deserve a sizable commitment from law enforcement authorities.
Maguffee said students aren't the only ones benefiting from the visits.
"You go from one domestic assault, to a suicide, to a robbery. It can get a little depressing every now and then," Maguffee said. "Walking into these classrooms and seeing these bright eyes coming up to you and wanting you to sign an autograph for them. Who wouldn't like that?"
Police say officers are expected to make the visits during the course of their regular patrols. No resources are being added for the initiative.
24 Hour News 8 went with Maguffee when he visited two Wyoming schools Wednesday. Watch the video above to see the ride-along.
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