Stark County Sheriff pens letter to community after recent tragedies

STARK COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Stark County Sheriff George T. Maier posted a letter on Facebook to the local community reminding people how his department is learning every day to keep the area safe.

This past week a seventh grade boy shot himself in a bathroom at Jackson Memorial Middle School.

Maier said he understands the recent fears from parents.

"My staff and I are dedicated to this community and we are dedicated to you," Maier wrote.

The sheriff said he is meeting with school officials to improve safety and security.

"We will continue to work together in developing safety protocols as well as addressing the mental health issues and identifying children in crisis," Maier posted.

The Sheriff's Office, local police departments, the FBI and Homeland Security are constantly working on new safety plans, he said.

"We must recognize that this problem is beyond just strengthening our school security and so we must also address those issues to truly solve it," he wrote.

Maier said every threat against schools will be taken seriously, he said some threats have been posted on social media.

"These cases are examples of the misuse of social media to create fear and disruption in our schools," he wrote.

The sheriff said he needs help from parents in the community.

"Talk to your children. Ask them questions and engage with them. Remind them of the dangers associated with social media and how to use it properly, and always let them know you're listening," Maier wrote.

He also wants to remind parents to make sure that guns are properly locked up.

"if you have firearms in your home you should take every measure to ensure that they are secured so that they are not accessible to children," Maier said.

Maier ended his letter saying the community is in this together to make Stark County safer.

"Evil prevails when good men do nothing," he wrote.

Below is the entire letter from Maier:

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