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Private Schools Left Out of Manhunt Notification by Police

A 16-year-old accused of attempted Capital Murder has bonded out of jail. At least four private school's within about a mile of Berry's escape weren't notified by police.
Demontae Berry, 16, of Little Rock.
Demontae Berry, 16, of Little Rock.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The search for Demontae Berry this week after his alleged escape from school resource officers at Hall High locked down nearby schools.

As it is now, the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) has to determine which schools are in the area and call each manually.

Tuesday (1/21), at least four private school's within about a mile of Berry's escape weren't notified by police. They all hope this changes in the future.

Tuesday afternoon, as police officers roamed the streets looking for the teen accused of attempted Capital Murder, only two nearby schools went into lock-down. At least 4 others within a mile didn't.

Vernell Bowen is the Superintendent of Catholic Schools across the state of Arkansas. She has more than 20 including Mount Saint Mary Catholic Academy, Catholic High School for Boys and Our Lady of Holy Souls. None of those three were made aware of the search for Berry by police. Bowen says she found out through other sources outside of police.

"I contacted my Principals to see if they had been contacted by the police, and they had not," Bowen explained.

All of Bowen's schools have crisis intervention plans and she says they would have known what they needed to do.

She said, "They would go in to lock-down at the schools."

Their schools already have security locks and they're even working to increase safety. In situations like Tuesday though, they could still use the help of local law enforcement.

Bowen says she asked police as soon as she found out about the search afterwards if there is a way that they can work together in the future to maybe get the message out to all the Catholic schools.

LRPD spokesperson, Lt. Sidney Allen says the department is asking their current communications providers about looking into the capability of adding schools to a lock-down situation notification list.
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