Henry Co. Officials Discuss School Campus Safety

Patrick Henry, VA - Schools across the country are taking a closer look at security after Sandy Hook and other incidents.

Patrick Henry Community College has been thinking about it since the massacre at Virginia Tech.

They say their campus is safe, but a police department on campus would make things even safer.

About half the community colleges in Virginia have a police department on campus.

Most students say they feel safe but would like to see more officers on campus.

Patrick Henry Community College doesn't have much crime,

they haven't been through a tragedy and they don't expect to.

But as Emergency Planning Coordinator Gary Dove, explains, they need to be ready for anything.

"It's a sign of the times and it's a necessary evil that we have to face and be prepared for," said Dove.

After the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, Dove says safety on college campuses has become an even greater priority. So, he has played the "what if" game.

"What if this happens, and I would feel a whole lot better having a formal law enforcement officer on campus," said Dove.

This would mean two armed police officers in addition to their three security officers -- assurance that they would not have to wait for city or county law enforcement to respond.

"Henry County is a big place and their officers don't sit in their office waiting for calls," said Dove.

Students on campus think it's a good idea.

"What happened was in Connecticut when all those kids got killed that just shows you today even in a small community tragedy can happen," said Cory Holloway with PHCC.

"Anything could happen so it's better to be safe than sorry," said Demarkus Williamson, with PHCC.

While Dove has made several security updates already, he says he constantly looks for ways to make their students even safer.

"This is just one of the things that fits into the plan," said Dove.