School safety has become a focus for some

S.D. (KSFY) - Across the nation, more than 20 school shootings have happened in 2018.

Earlier this month, Minnehaha Sheriff Mike Milstead attended a conference with other national leaders to discuss school safety and sentinel training.

This comes after an increased interest in the school sentinel program. Last year, members from only two districts took part in the training. And this year at the Pierre Law Enforcement Center, nine participants took part in the 80-hour training course to learn about firearm safety.

After completing the two-week course, they'll be allowed to carry a concealed weapon on school grounds.

School Administrators of South Dakota Executive Director, Rob Monson, says that rural districts see challenges in getting law enforcement to respond in a hurry and that these volunteers may be their best response at this point.

"The school sentinel is to provide an immediate response to a deadly threat," Art Aplan, law enforcement training coordinator, said. "We understand that law enforcement response may be delayed and in that delay time, it becomes important that you have an immediate response."

Sheriff Milstead says that if students in the Sioux Falls School District see something, they should say something, especially, if they notice a student who may need help.