It has been a short time since the attack at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, but the pain and fear from that horrible tragedy remain throughout our country, state and town. As a direct response to the tragedy in Uvalde, I want to report to you my actions to keep our children safe in Payson schools.

As a stop-gap towards a more secure security system at our schools, I have been speaking with and recruiting veterans and retired law enforcement individuals for a cadre of protection for our schools and the after-school program at Payson Community Kids. I have also begun putting together a stakeholders group (those with skin in the game) who can bring about a greater safety protocol system throughout our schools. Although I as mayor have no authority over the Payson Unified School District, I do have the responsibility to protect the lives of our children and their teachers. I fully intend to do everything within my power, control, and contacts to ensure that our kids and their teachers are fully protected in our schools as this next school year begins. This is a top priority for me!