For the 2018-19 school year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol [MSHP] is rolling out a “Walkthrough Initiative,” a program in which area schools are taking part. When MSHP officers are available, they will stop by participating schools and walk the halls to engage with students and faculty. Officers will have guidelines they must follow to ensure their visit is not disrupting critical testing or other events.
The goal is to have officers visit each participating school three to five times a month or more if requested. MSHP officers also will provide programs about general safety and various state laws as time permits during regular school hours. This is part of a statewide initiative by MSHP to increase the visibility of law enforcement in Missouri schools.
Corporal Juston Wheetley, with the MSHP Public Information and Education Division, explains that the program also is about building relationships. “We hope this initiative will help revitalize the relationship between the community and law enforcement. This initiative also provides the school with the opportunity to have troopers give safety programs, open forum talks, or career talks with classes if asked to do so. We look forward to beginning this initiative and are excited about the many benefits this could have for the community and law enforcement.”
The Walkthrough Initiative will not replace any existing school resource officers, but adds an extra layer of security for the school and allows students to interact with troopers in a positive way.