CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — State troopers and local police will keep a close eye on school buses around Chattanooga for the rest of the school year, according to a plan revealed on Monday.
The development follows the Nov. 21 school bus crash in which six students from Woodmore Elementary School were killed and 31 were injured.
The Hamilton County Department of Education said in a press release on Monday that the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s new plan of action works cooperatively with other agencies “to ensure the safety of all Hamilton County school bus passengers.”
Law enforcement personnel will ride and follow Woodmore Elementary school bus routes. They will also randomly patrol other routes in Hamilton County for the remainder of the school year.
Highway Patrol troopers will initially concentrate on the Woodmore route, with Chattanooga Police Department officers and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies riding or following other Hamilton County school bus routes as schedules and manpower permit.
THP Chattanooga started following & riding School Buses 🚌today. Always stop for a school bus stop sign. pic.twitter.com/bkdYiJ2Duo— THPChattanooga (@THPChattanooga) February 7, 2017
In March, April, and May, personnel from the three law enforcement agencies will continue to follow or ride Hamilton County school buses, including Woodmore Elementary routes.
Kirk Kelly, interim superintendent of the Hamilton County Department of Education, said in the district’s press release that he is grateful for the support.
“The safety and well-being of our students is always our number one priority,” Kelly said. “We are so appreciative our partners in law enforcement are just as committed to the safety of our students.”
According to the district, the action plan will be evaluated weekly by administration officials.