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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

ST. TAMMANY, La. -- A significant police presence is planned in St. Tammany Parish for this first week of classes.

Authorities want to set the tone for the school year that safety remains a priority inside area schools.

The district has 11 resource officers, from different agencies, planned to post up on high school and junior high campuses this year, just as they had last year. Five of those are in Slidell.

'It sends a big message that we're there to enforce the laws and keep the peace and for security,' said Slidell Police Captain Kevin Foltz.

'A couple of years ago we had some parent forums, and the first thing that came back to us before reading and writing and arithmetic was make sure my child is safe at school, and we've done that,' said St. Tammany Schools Superintendent Trey Folse.

Not only does having more eyes on kids in schools help deter issues, many say having more ears to listen to them helps too.

'The kids get to know the police officers and find out, hey, I can talk to these people. We can get information about other crimes,' Foltz said.

Like last year, in the case of the shooting threat at Lakeshore High. It's something parents hope continues and grows.

'I think that's what they're going to have to keep doing, keep a better eye on your schools,' said Kristen Livaudais.

Police encourage any student that wants to make an anonymous tip about crime to text it. For details on how, visit www.crimestoppersgno.org.

Police will also be out patrolling the streets around schools for dangerous drivers.

Slidell police will have officers manned at school zones to remind drivers to slow down before and after school hours. They're hoping it will help drivers get back in the habit of recognizing school zone speed limits and hours. Drivers will get the benefit of a warning, but only for about two weeks.

School in St. Tammany Parish starts Wednesday. Tangipahoa and Washington Schools start Thursday.

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