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John Douglass, middle, chief of police for the Overland Park Police Department, speaks Thursday during a Defense of Our Schools meeting. Nearly 250 educators and public safey officials are meeting in small groups throughout the month to address school safety and come up with a final report with recommendations for schools to use as they see fit.

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Newtown inspires new approach to defending students

Ever since the 1999 Columbine High School shootings, area police departments and school districts have been collaborating on a small scale to evaluate safety measures in schools.

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