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Operation Graduation Prom Alive Kicks Off In Kanawha County

Reported: Mar. 28, 2014 12:13 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 28, 2014 12:45 PM EDT

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katelyn Sykes) -- Police across Kanawha County are stepping up enforcement efforts to make sure your children are safe this prom and graduation season.

On Friday, law enforcement agencies across the county came together to kick off Operation GPA. GPA stands for Graduation Prom Alive. Several agencies come together during this effort each year including city police departments, the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, West Virginia State Police, Kanawha County Ambulance Authority and Metro 911.

Extra officers from these agencies will work together and be on patrol during prom and graduation ceremonies. For example, Saturday is Herbert Hoover High School's prom at the Charleston Civic Center and two Kanawha County sheriff's deputies, two West Virginia State Police troopers and a Charleston police officer will actually be inside during the event, while others will be out patrolling the the street, making sure students are safe.

Law enforcement and school officials said the safety of their students comes first and that is why they are heightening that focus this time of the year.

"Several years ago, we had seven kids killed in eight years in car crashes in the St. Albans area and we don't ever want to have something like that happen ever again," said Chief Deputy Mike Rutherford of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office. "That's why we're working hard and for the last nine years that we've had this program we've been extremely fortunate and not had any incidents with serious injuries. We hope that continues and we work hard to try to keep the kids safe."

The public safety levy approved by Kanawha County votes pays for the overtime for officers.

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