Pittsylvania County Officials Hold School Safety Informational

Pittsylvania Co., VA - Parents, teachers and community leaders came out tonight for a school safety informational in Pittsylvania County.

After announcing a new safety initiative last week, Sheriff Mike Taylor presented his plan to a crowd mostly made up of supporters.

There were some who voiced concerns over the right approach for increasing school safety, but overall, the community seemed to agree that it's time for a change.

"This particular meeting involves the parents, grandparents, teachers educators that have a vested interest in our children, to give their input, " said Pittsylvania County Sheriff Mike Taylor.

Taylor's 1.5 million dollar plan includes cutting the number of entrances and exits to each school, adding metal detectors and bringing in 20 new deputies to serve as resource officers.

But according to Taylor, that will increase taxes by less than $30 per year for each county resident.

"With the budget constraints that we have, I can't say if it's feasible or not feasible. We need to know if the citizens are willing to pay for it, " said Marshall Ecker, chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisors were on hand to listen to what taxpayers had to say.When Sheriff Taylor opened the floor, it became clear that most agree $30is a small price to pay.

"As a taxpayer, we all go 'Oh Lord, another tax', but this is one I think we really need, " said Wanda Love.

Love is a bus driver in Pittsylvania County and she also has children that attend county schools. After the recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, she wants every precaution taken to make sure that never happens in this community.

"Us as bus drivers, we pull up in front of them schools every morning with a bus load of children and....I want to see each and every one of them back on my bus, " said Love.

Sheriff Taylor says about 500 people have participated in an online survey about the new plans so far, and the feedback has been 94% positive.

If the groups decide to move ahead, we could begin seeing the new security measures in place some time this year.