Lawson Transition Team Focuses On School Safety In Cleveland

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
State Rep. Dan Howell, Sheriff-Elect Steve Lawson, District Attorney Steve Crump, 6th District County School Board Member Amanda Lee
State Rep. Dan Howell, Sheriff-Elect Steve Lawson, District Attorney Steve Crump, 6th District County School Board Member Amanda Lee

In its most recent meeting, Cleveland's Sheriff-Elect Steve Lawson’s transition team tackled the issue of school safety.  Referring back to the plan Mr. Lawson laid out during the campaign the group began discussions regarding the logistics of implementing the comprehensive plan.

“My goal during the campaign was to lay out a plan that takes the threat of school safety seriously.” Mr. Lawson said.  “We have been fortunate in our community that we have not experienced the tragedy that other parts of our country have seen.  We cannot take that for granted and must remain vigilant.  My plan does just that.”

The group reviewed the six key points the plan addresses:

· Pushing for legislation that allows for the creation of a School Threat Multi-Disciplinary Review Team. This team will consist of representatives from School Guidance, Children & Family Services, Mental Health, Juvenile Court, Probation, Parole, Law Enforcement, and any other discipline deemed relevant in individual cases under review.  This team will closely monitor students and others deemed a potential threat and their status reviewed on a regular basis until a threat no longer exists.

· Establish a 24-hour hotline to report school threats.  Each call will be thoroughly investigated by a specially trained officer and report his/her findings to the multi-disciplinary team for review.  That team will assess the potential threat and take appropriate action.

· Provide special training to officers to investigate and monitor the social media postings of any person under review, and the nature of these postings will become part of the review process.

· Push for legislation to require professionals to report incidents of threatening behavior, including verbal threats and social media messages and posts.  Similar to the requirements on professionals to report alleged child abuse.  We will protect those making the reports in good faith from liability claims.

· Provide special training from the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security and other legitimate sources regarding school violence, social media usage, and threat profiles for school officials, teachers, SROs, patrol officers, criminal investigators, juvenile court officers, probation, parole, and members of the multi-disciplinary team.

· Partner with the Educational Safety Director to provide annual security and threats assessments.  Ask our local legislator to push for more state funded safety and security equipment for our local schools to take the burden of the cost from the local taxpayers as much s possible.

Mr. Lawson acknowledges that his plan will not be implemented overnight. “This will be a work in progress, and requires close cooperation between the BCSO, The District Attorney’s Office, the school system, and our local state legislators.”

One immediate issue Mr. Lawson hopes to address is increased training and certification for the officers working in the schools.  “Our fine SROs carry the highest certification available, POST Certification.  It will be important to me moving forward that any additional officers we have in our schools carry this same level of certification, including those working at the gates.”

Mr. Lawson is also committed to personally being involved in the schools. He said, “I will take time to visit our schools, and I look forward to attending special events such as the D.A.R.E graduations.  I will show my support for our schools by walking the halls and sharing time with teachers and students.  Safety in our schools will be among my highest priorities.”

Mr. Lawson looks forward to working closely with the District Attorney’s office and the school board to be proactive. He said, “This is going to be a team effort.  It isn’t important that anyone gets credit, it is just important that we get better.”



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABERNATHY, BRANDY LASHEA  8874 DAISY DALLAS RD HIXSON, 37404  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Soddy Daisy Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- BAKER, LANESHA NESHAY  3301 PINEWOOD AVE APT 12 CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: ... (click for more)

Man Seriously Injured After Being Struck By Train In South Chattanooga

A man suffered serious injuries after being hit by a train in South Chattanooga on Wednesday night. The train was traveling at low speed at the time. It was in the vicinity of W. 26th Street. (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (3)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scream ‘Sexual Assault!’

Candace Owens, a communications director for the conservative non-profit “Turning Point,” wasted not a minute’s time as the Democratic debauchery of Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh raced like a prairie fire across America. There is little doubt that many politicians -- on either side of the aisle -- play a little loose with the truth. But this Eleventh Hour attack on the ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Beats Bradley Central, 3-0, For 12th Straight Victory

Bradley Central took East Hamilton, one of the better volleyball teams in Southeast Tennessee regardless of classification, to five sets in their first meeting on Aug. 15 in Cleveland. “So, Bradley is not a team you can underestimate,” Lady Hurricanes coach Bojana Hyatt said after her team’s 3-0 sweep of the Bearettes at East Hamilton High School. “They gave us a run for our ... (click for more)

Inspired Chattanooga Christian Sweeps Notre Dame

Chattanooga Christian and Notre Dame have built a really good rivalry in recent years, especially in volleyball. Notre Dame had the dominant team for many years before the two teams split regular-season matches a year ago. Chattanooga Christian has the upper hand in 2018 and clinched first place in the district on Wednesday night at Notre Dame’s Jack Steiner Gymnasium with ... (click for more)