Clinton public safety forum focuses on community member safety

CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) – The City of Clinton hosted a public forum to discuss community and school safety. Booths for organizations such as March for our Lives and addiction support groups lined the auditorium at Clinton Community College. All the organizations involved were spreading the message that no matter what, the resources are always available.

“Obviously everyone’s talking about sort of collaboration, I think the main thing we’re seeing now is involvement across the community, not just with your local mental health providers, but we’re taking the initiative to partner with the Clinton School District,” said Erin Aude, director of Life Connections. “We partnered with the police department and helped provide assistance in setting up a local resource center, by essentially making efforts to make mental health services and addiction treatment more accessible, convenient and easy for people to access.

The response to the Uvalde shooting was discussed, and Clinton County Sheriff Bill Greenwalt said that if faced with such a situation in Clinton, it would be handled very differently.

“The aftermath of the incident in Uvalde, Texas, and obviously it’s big failures in my opinion that happened there,” Greenwalt said during the panel. “I don’t see us as having those concerns. Some of our biggest concerns for our community is what are we going to do once we get there? Once the incident is settled? How can we ensure that our citizens are comfortable knowing that we will properly handle this incident in its entirety. »

Sue Watkins, a Clinton resident with grandchildren in the Clinton School District, says she finds comfort in knowing city leaders are proactive rather than reactive.

“I have a very comfortable area because I think we have great staff, great superintendent watching over the Clinton schools,” Watkins said. “So they’re being proactive and making sure our children are as safe as possible.”

Gary DeLacy, the superintendent of the Clinton Community School District, echoed what Watkins said.

“Bottom line, we try to do our best to keep students and our staff safe,” DeLacy said. “We are trying to follow best practices in a very difficult environment.”

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