SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – There’s a new position dedicated to school safety in Spartanburg School District One this year.

The school board approved Jeff Harmon to serve as the district’s Chief Safety Officer just a few weeks ago. Now, with class back in session, Harmon said he’s already getting to work.

“Just walking and seeing the schools, seeing the campuses, seeing what the needs are of the administrators, the school resource officers,” said Jeff Harmon, the Chief Safety Officer for Spartanburg School District One.

He said safety is an important topic and at the forefront of parents’ minds.

“That’s what parents expect, is to drop my kid off in a safe environment, they’re safe all day, and when I come to pick them up, it’s going to be a safe environment to pick them up to,” said Harmon.

He said it’s a top priority for district leaders too. Harmon said previously, this position had other roles and responsibilities like transportation, but now it’s dedicated to safety. Harmon believes it takes everybody to create a safe learning environment.

“It really is that relationship building, it’s that meeting with Ms. Wright this morning, talking about what’s going on and touring the school and seeing the students, and then having the SRO with that and everybody working together,” said Harmon.

He also said there’s a school resource officer in every school in the district.

Sgt. James Shehan, school resource officer, new prospect elementary school.

“We go through training, we go through protocols, we go through drills,” said Sgt. James Shehan, the school resource officer at New Prospect Elementary.

Some of Sgt. Shehan’s responsibilities include checking door handles, monitoring the school, and working to protect students and staff.

“We want our students and our faculty and staff to feel safe at every moment that they’re in the building,” said New Prospect Elementary Principal Briana Wright.

Principals Wright said staff is trained and up to date on protocols, and ready for a safe school year.

“It’s a requirement of our district for us to review our safety procedures at the beginning of every school year. We also have done a whole school staff development on safety,” said Wright.

As Harmon steps into the chief safety officer role, he hopes to connect with school leaders.

“It really is a network of folks that perform the role of safety,” said Harmon.

School administrators also encourage parents to get involved in school safety and talk with their kids. If students see or hear anything, school leaders said they need to speak up and talk to their teacher.

District leaders said Harmon previously worked in law enforcement for 28 years.