September 15, 2006 at 7:53 PM EST - Updated July 27 at 12:09 PM
WHITEVILLE -- There will be more police presence near Central Middle School in Whiteville after classes let out.
Whiteville Police Officer James White already patrols the school which class is in session. At the request of the school board, the city council is providing money for White to stay at the school an extra two hours until 5:30 p.m. on school days.
"Safety is something where you want to do what can be done first," said Central principal Beverly Boone, "rather than ask why we didn't do it later, so it's an extra layer of safety."
Whiteville Police have been keeping an eye on the neighborhood surrounding Central Middle School, following a shooting and other crimes in the area.
School and city officials hope that the extra time White spends on campus will keep participants and staff of after-school programs safe.
"We know they're watching out for us, always walking around," said Boone.
Besides the benefit of White's watchful eye, Boone said that his attitude and conduct around the students is a welcome bonus.
"These kids love to say 'Good morning Officer White,'" said Boone.
With his time on campus already keeping students happy, a few more hours could help keep crime in check.