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Alpharetta police substation now in elementary school | News

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Alpharetta police substation now in elementary school
News, Schools
Alpharetta police substation now in elementary school

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Alpharetta Elementary has become the first school in Georgia to have a police substation in its school building.

The Alpharetta Police Department will work out of a room at the school. The idea is the brainchild of Officer Phillip Ritchey.

"The idea came after the Newtown, Connecticut shootings," said Ritchey.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary is approaching its one year anniversary later this month.

RELATED | 911 tapes of Sandy Hook tragedy released

Georgia has also had its share of frightening times on school campuses, including a student shot at Price Middle School last February and a gunman who walked into a McNair Discovery Learning Academy in August.

"Our schools don't have a police officer assigned at all hours," said Ritchey. "They have officer assigned to them, but they're at the high school."

School resource officers are assigned to Fulton County middle and high schools, but not at elementary schools.

"I get a lot of questions all the time about how are you working to keep our students safe with all that's going on in the world," said Katie Reeves, Fulton County School Board Member from the north Fulton.

Alpharetta police will use this substation another base operation for officers to stop-by to get paperwork or equipment.

Furniture for the office was donated by Winthrope Properties and Lowe's on Windward Parkway.

"If we have a crime scene and we have evidence that's not dangerous to the children, we have evidence and property sheets here," said Officer John Robinson of the Alpharetta Police Department Uniform Patrol Division.

Officers won't bring suspects or witnesses to the school and will only be there during school hours.

Officer Ritchey researched the idea of police substations in schools and only found another one in a city in Arizona. And, they've assured the kids.

"We're not going to come arrest you because you're not doing your homework. Okay?" Ritchey told some of the students.

He encouraged students to get to know the officers they see at school.

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