The Board of Education has approved a new play that will go into effect when Columbus students return to school in the next week. The new program looks to expand a relationship with police officers in schools, particularly middle and elementary schools.
Currently, there were 17 officers that were assigned to individual high schools and these officers were overseen by one sergeant. With this new program, two additional officers and an additional sergeant will be added, with these two officers rotating between middle and elementary schools.
The addition of these three officers comes at a modest price of $165 yearly, but the district and city will split the difference like a responsible couple should, ultimately increasing the yearly bill for each side from $925k to $1.2M and following that a final bill of $1.6M.
Why was this done? To free up patrol officers having to respond to issues at schools. With that said, the officers will abide by a “memorandum of understanding” which says that the officers, “”are responsible for issues involving violations of law, not for school discipline issues, or incidents that may be best resolved by the schools’ authority instead of court intervention.” According to The Dispatch.
Columbus’s history with police in schools goes to back 1995, the start of a zero-tolerance policy for drugs & violence. The city fronted the entire bill through ’96 – ’97 and because of that nearly ended the program, but after the 1999 school shooting in Columbine, they renewed the program indefinitely.
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