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Musselshell County sheriff responds to Texas shootings, takes precautions in Roundup and Melstone

Musselshell Sheriff and deputies.jpg
Posted at 10:58 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 11:49:24-04

ROUNDUP - The shooting in Uvlade, Texas has prompted many schools around the nation to make changes to their policies.

That includes right here in Montana, where deputies will now be located at all elementary and high schools in Roundup and Melstone.

Normally three deputies rotate and check on Roundup Elementary, Roundup High School and the Melstone elementary school and High School.

This week for the rest of the school year, which ends Thursday, the Musselshell County Sheriff will have even more of a presence at the schools.

The uptick in security response to the school shootings in Texas.

"I can probably speak for a lot of law enforcement, just makes us sick to our stomachs," said Deputy Travis Manning, Musselshell County Sheriff's Office.

The response has been done out of an abundance of caution not because of any current threat.

"We have no allegations or threats," Manning said. "But there has been histories of copycat attacks, stuff like that and Sheriff Lesnick took the precaution made sure that we were here. So to make sure nothing was going to happen."

The sheriff and deputies get on the campuses regularly, but will be even more diligent this week.

"We're just patrolling the area, making sure doors are locked," Manning said. "We went and checked doors this morning and we found some discrepancies. Making sure the campus isn't just accessible by anybody, making sure there aren't people who aren't supposed to be hanging out, watching the school for kids. Anything like that. Just taking extra security for the kids."

Parents responded with appreciation after Sheriff Shawn Lesnick posted on Facebookhis plans for the rest of the school year.

"Their safety is really important to me," said Michaela Viviano. And so just even having them on standby near the school, just kind of put my mind at ease about sending them to school today."

Viviano has a second grader and a kindergartener at Roundup Elementary School. She grew up in Billings and remembers feeling safer with a school resource officer.

"What always brought me a sense of comfort as a student, especially if I happen to know that the SRO in question," she said. "My freshman year of high school it was my dad, so it did bring that sense of you know, confidence and security. I do have faith in the law enforcement here to where if God forbid somebody were to go there to cause harm, that, you know, the kids there would be protected."