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Basketball fundraiser for Tipton Schools security upgrade

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Tipton, Okla._Officials with the Tipton School District say they're thankful they haven't had to deal with mass violence there, and the Tipton Police Department wants to keep it that way. They have a fundraiser planned for next month to help improve the security and safety in the schools. The police department says some of the school's needs are security cameras, safety education and a drug dog. Tipton Public Schools currently does not have a resource officer but they do have an officer from the police department rotate through the schools to make a presence. Making their schools as safe as possible is something that's extremely important to Tipton Police Chief, Shannon Olson because his children are among the more than 300 students in Tipton schools.

"I think the most important thing in any community is our schools and I don't want to be on the news saying that we should have done something. I want to be proactive and do something to prevent having kids with drug problems, having school shootings and things like that," said Shannon Olson.

Olson said having a drug dog to bring into the schools on a regular basis would be a great drug prevention asset.

"To make sure that kids aren't messing around with drugs in our schools system, that's a fight we're going to have to fight that's going to take awhile and that's just one more tool we can use," said Olson.

Superintendent, Shane Boothe said they have used up all their funding on security but it isn't enough.

"If they are comfortable, if they are safe then they are in an environment where they can learn. So I think it is really paramount and it really extends into safety beyond that," said Shane Boothe.

Boothe said he is glad that the police department has taken the lead on fundraising.

"In a town like ours the school is the center of the community but at the same time, without the community we're not the center of anything," said Boothe.

Olson said the money they raise will also help them be able to have more officer presence at school events.

"Our town has a very low crime rate and it's because we work so hard with the children in the town," said Olson.

The police department will be playing in a basketball game against the Harlem Ambassadors, which is a Globe Trotter type team that features ball-handling tricks and high-flying slam dunks. The police department invites anyone to join their team and come out and show support on Saturday, March 8th at 7 p.m. at the Hannah Activity Center in Tipton. Admission is $10. 

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