Sheriff Set to Launch Campus Safety Effort

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona today will officially unveil the department's ambitious plans to team deputies with teachers and administrators to gather intelligence on problem kids to prevent campus violence.

Though the effort was conceived months ago, sheriff's officials said the latest round of school shootings--including the deadly violence in Santee last week--underscores the need for tighter security on campus.

"It's a tragic reminder that we need to be on the cutting-edge of school safety," Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo said.

Beginning in April, sheriff's deputies assigned to high schools will catalog threats and other disturbing behavior, such as schoolyard brawls and gang membership, even if they fall short of criminal acts.

Deputies will pass on the information to a team of investigators, psychologists and counselors handpicked to spot warning signs that students might be prone to violence.

The so-called Juvenile Bureau will also include a children's advocate attorney to ensure that students' privacy rights are protected, Jaramillo said.

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