LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Following last week's shooting at a high school in Parkland, FL, the Lee County Sheriff's Office says it's leaning on school resource officers to prevent a similar situation from happening.
"One of the biggest things we can do is just listen," says Deputy Sheriff Pamela Revels. As an officer that works in the schools each day, she knows first hand how important the job of protecting students is.
"I'd like to say in being a school resource officer, this is an everyday conversation for us, for me, and for educators. On a daily basis, we are protecting our kids and at the same time, trying to educate them," she says.
The agency has a multi-faceted approach to dealing with such tragedies.
Many people are questioning the way threats toward schools are handled following reports that the FBI did not follow up on warnings about the Florida shooter, Nikolas Cruz.
"The first contact for all the people that are in the system is law enforcement," explains Chief Van Jackson, who leads the department's investigative unit. "They contact the resource officer they then start the preliminary investigation and contact us as an investigative body," he adds.
Deputy Revels says while keeping students safe is the top priority, it is not her only role on campus.
"We try to make sure we're building positive relationships with our young people so that they trust us. So, if they do hear of any threats, they feel very comfortable coming to tell us," says Revels.