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Sat, Jul 26, 2014

District attorneys launch initiative to increase school safety

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — District Attorney General Bill Whitesell is working with law enforcement officers, school principals and guidance counselors to combat school violence by identifying warning signs among teens, as part of a new initiative that is being launched statewide.

The efforts are part of a proactive initiative by the Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference to help community leaders keep schools safe amid continued national incidents of juvenile violence.

The conference partnered with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Tennessee Sheriffs’ Association to host a “Protecting Our Children: Proactive and Prepared” seminar on Wednesday in Nashville, where Phil Chalmers, a nationally recognized expert on teen violence, trained attendees on how to help teens in trouble while keeping schools and communities safe.

“Training sessions and resources from the conference keep us updated on what’s happening nationally that could have an impact here at home,” Whitesell said. “We do everything we can to help our police officers and school officials take action and prevent the same kinds of tragedies we see on the news from happening here.”

Attendees at the seminar learned how to identify gang and cult practices, spot danger signs among teens like obsessions with violence and weapons, and what to do to keep teens safe and get them any necessary help.

“We often deal with juvenile violence that could have been avoided if someone had known what to do,” said Guy Jones, deputy director of the conference. “We want to equip the community with the tools they need to turn a potential teen killer into a teen who gets help.”

To learn more about the conference and how to identify warning signs among teens, contact the local district attorney’s office at 615-741-1696 or visit www.tndagc.org.

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Bill Whitesell, District Attorney, District Attorneys Office, Murfreesboro, Public Safety, Rutherford County, Schools
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