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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Food Stamp Fraud

School Safety Part II

DAYTON -- After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, school safety has been at the forefront of educational leaders.  But how safe are our schools?  Reporter Jackie Couture went to the Miami Valley's largest district to let parents know how safe their kids are when they're not at home.

"Safety and security, we don't want to be the bad boys. We want to be the one to do these audits, to go around...I think an administrator wants to know where his weak link is," says Jamie Bullens, Director of Security for all of Dayton Public Schools.

At Ponitz Learning Center, Bullens encouraged us to do our best to get inside the building.  A few doors down, we were in.  There were no kids in the class and the automotive teacher stopped us to ask what our business was.

At the next door, a student was spotted coming down the stairs.  We knocked, but the student didn't let us in.  Instead, she said to go around to the front door.

At Edison Elementary, we knocked and a staff member let us in.

"Fine line between safety and security and civility - treating somebody nice that we have to walk, but we have to make sure the students and faculty are safe," says Bullens.

There were plenty of staff at both schools who called up to the front office to report a suspicious blonde walking around pulling on doors.


A look into other schools:

MONTGOMERY COUNTY -- Nearly 48 million people -- one in every seven Americans -- are now receiving food assistance, what most of us call food stamps. That's roughly double the number from five years ago.

Congress recently voted against extending the increased funding for food assistance that was part of President Barack Obama's original economic stimulus. And one reason is food stamp fraud.

In Montgomery County alone, various forms of fraud or overpayment  have grown from $377,000 in 2012 to $477,000 so far this year.

State and county Departments of Job and Family Services oversee food assistance and fraud, but our story shows how seldom it's prosecuted. That hurts taxpayers, including people like one mother we spoke to who depended on food stamps when she was out of work, but who has now found a job. She worries that fraud will endanger the program for others.

If you know of any food assistance fraud, call your local Department of Job and Family Services and urge them to investigate so that funds will be preserved for families who really need them.

 
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