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Ohio Homeland Security to create school safety center

CENTER CREATED — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, center, was joined by state Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, third from left, and other officials as he announces the creation of the Ohio School Safety Center on Wednesday. -- Contributed

COLUMBUS — State Sen. Frank Hoagland joined Gov. Mike DeWine Wednesday as he issued an executive order creating a statewide school safety center through a new specialized division of Ohio Homeland Security.

The comprehensive statewide office, the Ohio School Safety Center, will assist local schools and law enforcement in preventing, preparing for and responding to threats and acts of violence.

Since taking office, Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, has championed several efforts to increase proactive and reactive solutions to the threat of violence in schools.

Senate Bill 147, sponsored by Hoagland, reflects many of the plans proposed by the governor. The legislation would create an Ohio School Marshal Program to equip schools with the training and resources necessary to protect the safety of Ohio’s students and schools.

The bill has been referred to the Senate’s Local Government and Public Affairs committee.

“I am dedicated to continuing the effort to increase safety and security in our state. I am confident that working together with the governor and Ohio’s Homeland Security office we will accurately and relentlessly address the threats of violence facing our students,” Hoagland said.

The SaferOH Tip Line is available free of charge to every school district, public school and private school in Ohio. Students and adults can call or text anonymously to (844) 723-3764) with tips about potential school violence.

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