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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/11/2013

Loudoun sheriff appointed to governor’s school safety task force

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) has appointed Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman to a newly created task force aimed at increasing school and campus safety across the Commonwealth, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Chapman is one of five newly appointed law enforcement officers from Virginia. The task force also includes educators, public safety experts, local leaders, mental health practitioners, legislators, parents and students, officials said.

The group will conduct a sweeping review of school safety issues, including established policies and procedures, crisis and emergency management plans, and threat assessment protocols, according to a statement issued by the Sheriff’s Office.

The task force will also share best practices, identify resource challenges and provide legislative and budget proposals to the governor to help address “critical gaps or needs associated with safety and security” in Virginia schools, the statement said.

McDonnell first issued an executive order to establish the task force on Dec. 20, following the Dec. 14 mass-shooting of 26 students and school staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“After the tragic shootings in Connecticut, our command staff met with command staffs from state and local police as well as with Loudoun County Public School officials to review our security procedures,” Chapman said in the statement. “We will be able to bring ideas shared during these meetings to the [task force.] We want to make certain, together, that we continue to do everything possible to ensure your child’s safety, and the safety of the entire school staff.”

The task force will hold its first meeting on Monday at 1 p.m. in the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond..

The group will provide initial recommendations to the governor by Jan. 31, and will continue to provide additional input on an ongoing basis. A final report will be issued by June 30, with the goal to have the final recommended actions put in place before the start of the 2013-2014 school year, the statement said.

By  |  10:30 AM ET, 01/11/2013

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