"With deputies at the school and the school zones and walking the halls, we hope they become a little more normal and that they become a little more approachable for students," he said.
The county does have three full-time school resource officers - another part of the county's school safety plan - but those officers concentrate on the county's middle and high schools, where there's more risk for fights among students, and where intervention with troubled teens is a focus.
In elementary schools, the goal is different. Karen Messinger, a second grade teacher at Pinch Elementary, said that most of her students are still afraid of police officers.
"They see police officers as those people who deal with bad guys," she said. "This is building rapport with kids and it's a positive relationship so they know they can go to them for help."
The other facets of the county's school safety plan will also be in full force as the school year gets started today: among other things, the sheriff's office and Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority will station emergency vehicles outside schools to remind drivers to drive slowly and carefully through school zones.
"We're going to have trucks and ambulances out there that are a little more subtle," said Mike Jarrett, public information officer with the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority. "We don't want to startle our children, but we want to be present."
Contact writer Shay Maunz at shay.ma...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4886.