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March 12, 2013

Vinemont adds new vehicle to school campus

VINEMONT — Vinemont schools have added an additional vehicle to their campus in an effort to increase security and raise student safety awareness.

Cullman County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jim Butts, Vinemont school’s resource officer, will be able to perform on campus security checks throughout the day in areas the normal patrol car isn’t suited to travel with the added Polaris Ranger utility vehicle.

“In an effort to enhance security, the school has purchased the vehicle, for myself, the school’s resource officer,” said Butts. “We will also be using it in our D.A.R.E. classes and D.A.R.E. Program, discussing the dangers of drinking and driving.”

One of the major functions of the utility vehicle will be to demonstrate and allow students the opportunity to see first-hand the danger of driving under the influence. This will be done with high school students as they are completing the drivers education courses.

“We will also be using it in our ninth grade program when we are doing the DUI class,” said Butts. “The kids will have an opportunity to wear what we call the ‘fatal vision goggles’, which simulate the vision of an intoxicated driver, and we will set a course for the students to drive which will be supervised.”  

Sheriff Mike Rainey and Chief Deputy Max Bartlett were also present in the sharing of the vehicle for Vinemont schools.

“We have multiple campuses in this area, like we do with other county schools, and it helps having the additional vehicle if you need a quicker response time and can’t get there in the patrol car,” said Rainey. “It’s a great tool to enhance the safety of our students, and I want to thank the school for getting this for the resource office, Mr. Jim Butts.”

Cullman county school’s Superintendent Billy Coleman agrees that the added vehicle will only increase safety for the Vinemont schools and assures us that they are working to better the student’s overall safety awareness.

“We really appreciate the sheriffs department and the help they give us,” said Coleman. “They have visited all of our campuses and done an inventory and I think this will be a great thing for the school; we’re in the process now to make our schools safer and working with the Sheriff’s department has really been a blessing.”

Vinemont schools joined together in donating the $9,500 for the utility vehicle.

Lauren Estes can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext 270, or at laurene@cullmantimes.com.

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