Dr. Kriner Cash talks about new security sweeps - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jamel Major

Dr. Kriner Cash talks about new security sweeps

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new program at Memphis City Schools targets drugs and crime and these new security sweeps seem to be working.

According to Memphis City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash, the program is working in more ways than one.

The district's goal is for students to feel safer and to teach them about the importance of non-violence at school.

Dr. Cash is giving the district's Safety, Security and Emergency Management Program high marks.

Dr. Cash said, "In the high incidence schools, there is a 21 percent decrease in serious incidents over this same period last year."

The program allows for searches at area schools to keep students away from guns and drugs.

Approximately one hundred officers from the Memphis Police Department and Memphis City Schools combined are a part of the task force.

Dr. Cash said, "Every morning we go through metal detectors and we go through screenings.  We have additional x-ray screenings to ensure safety."

Dr. Cash said data is collected to determine which schools in the district have high incidents of behavioral problems.

He said there are currently two middle and twelve high schools that are "high incidence" schools.

But Carlene Leaper questions whether the program will really help, "For instance, the metal detectors if they're standing there in front of the door and I see you standing there, I'm not going to go in there and get caught."

Parent Katrina Page said, "I think it's wonderful because you don't know what your children are bringing to school or what they're taking in the school system."

School officials said enforcing other strategies like a strict dress code policy, security cameras and gang intervention and prevention, the program can keep students and faculty safe by decreasing bad behavior.

Dr. Cash said having programs in place to educate students about non-violence is key.

"We still have a lot of fights that occur in our schools, students need to be taught in a different way."

That's good news for some parents.

Dr. Cash said the district will also be calling on legislators to step in to help with the program.

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