Westerman talks RRAD jobs and school security

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Arkansas Republican Congressman Bruce Westerman said there are still no answers when it comes to the workload at Red River Army Depot.

“It seems to us like that there’s more work that’s being moved away from Red River that could be brought in there,” said Westerman.  Six hundred layoffs at the facility were announced in March.  Another three hundred are set to take effect at the end of August. 

Westerman and several other members of the area congressional delegation have been lobbying for more work for the facility.  “We’re trying to get a response from the Department of Defense on why they’re not utilizing the depot for other projects,” he said.

Also Monday, Westerman spoke with administrators and students at Arkansas High School.  Among the topics, school security. Student Alyssa Smith said she feels safe at school but adds, “Whenever you walk through the schools, you think about past things and you think, well, that could actually happen.”  

Westerman said schools need to be less desirable targets.  “A lot of damage can be done during an active shooter situation if you don’t have someone there on campus to respond,” he said.  

Texarkana, Arkansas School District officials said they currently have six security officers, but would like more.  They added that some new features are on the way soon.  Superintendent Dr. Becky Kesler said, “Security doors should be in within the next week or two, we’re putting in a fence.”  TASD officials added that funding is always an issue, but feel they’re as prepared as they could in the event of a crisis.

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