EVANGELINE PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Evangeline Parish Sheriff Charles Guillory sat down with Superintendent Darwin Lazard to review school safety plans before teachers and students report back to classrooms in August.

Guillory said they discussed everything surrounding school safety, from school resource officers to updating internal safety measures.

“It takes everybody,” the sheriff said. “There needs to be team effort 100% of the time, every day, every year.”

The first day of school for Evangeline Parish students is scheduled for August 11th. 13 schools are housed in the parish.

Right now, the sheriff’s office has zero school resources officers (SRO) on the payroll.

Guillory explained that after Uvalde, it brought to light how important school safety resources can be and they’re being brought back to the surface of priorities.

But he says neither time nor money is on their side.

“To have an SRO takes time. They have to go to resource training. You’re looking at five months,” added Guillory.

A school resource officer costs about $50,000. For 13 schools, that total would be about $650,000.

Until they can get costs under control, Sheriff Guillory said he and Superintendent Lazard discussed the following options:

  • one entry point into all schools
  • adequate fencing
  • updated school mapping for law enforcement
  • camera systems
  • an amber alert type system that notifies all law enforcement in the parish should something happen

“We are leaving no stone unturned,” Guillory said.

When it comes to school safety, officials are even thinking outside of the box.

“Superintendent says they are bringing back free meals for officers. They can eat with the students while walking around,” Guillory explained.

 The next meeting to discuss finalized plans is scheduled for July.