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New School Marshal Program in Thompson School District
Release Date: Apr 8, 2014
Public Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff's Office
Issued 04/08/14 by Jennifer Hillmann, Public Information Officer
**Updated information below**
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office is excited to announce a new School Marshal Program, which will be providing a dedicated law enforcement presence in schools within the Thompson School District. This program is an effort to offer an extra layer of protection for schools, students and staff. The initial phase will begin in selected schools in the Thompson School District.
Reserve Deputies with LCSO will be fulfilling these new positions in the schools. All LCSO Reserve Deputies must go through a rigorous hiring process, the same that is required for a full time Patrol Deputy with Larimer County Sheriff's Office. This includes a background check, oral board interview, integrity interview, physical fitness test, polygraph exam and a drug test. They must complete 253 training hours in the Reserve Academy, which is a Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified academy. The LCSO Reserve Academy training program exceeds the requirements of 213 training hours set by POST. Once Reserve Deputies have completed the Academy, they must also complete an internal Field Training Officer (FTO) program as well as ongoing annual training that are required of all deputies at the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. Additionally, these deputies have received and completed additional focused training for the School Marshal Program.
Sergeant Jeff Vanhook, agency coordinator for the School Marshal Program stated, "The purpose of this program is to provide more security in schools for any incident that would challenge life or bodily injury. Our primary objective is to be a presence to deter the criminal element from entering these schools and harming the students, teachers, administrators or parents."
There will be two public forum meetings next week, April 14th and 15th to further explain the program, gather community feedback and answer questions. The meeting on April 14th is at Berthoud Elementary School from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and the meeting on April 15th is at Coyote Ridge Elementary School, also from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Sheriff Justin Smith is looking forward to this new opportunity saying, "Each school participating in the School Marshal Program has unique needs and challenges. Whether that is to have someone in the school walking the halls, or just needing someone to walk the exterior perimeter and school grounds, each school will be able to create a specific plan based on their needs. Future expansion of this program could include additional schools within Thompson School District, but that will depend on the success of the initial phase of the program."
The School Marshal Program is slated to begin late in April 2014.
**For clarification, the School Marshal Program initial implementation will be in schools within Thompson School District that are NOT serviced by the Loveland Police Department. These schools include the Berthoud schools and middle and elementary schools that are outside of Loveland City limits. If the program proves to be a success, our hope is in the future to join forces with other jurisdictions to allow the program to grow, but that is not the intention at this time.**