Full-time officers could be coming to Muscogee County schools

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A proposed policing plan could add a number of full-time officers to schools across Muscogee County with the ultimate goal being to keep your children safe.

"I want to see more law enforcement in our schools as a deterrent to some lunatic coming in to kill our children. We can have all this talk about training," says Frank Myers, District 8 Muscogee County School Board member.

Superintendent David Lewis is recommending a plan to bring 10 full-time School Resource Officers to high schools in Muscogee County in an effort to provide more consistent security coverage for the district.

"In light of the recent events in some of the school shootings in Parkland and most recently, a few days ago in California, there's been a need for an increased police presence or at least that's the feeling of our board," says Lewis.

It's a part of the 2019 Fiscal Year Budget and would cost close to $3 million total. The increased cost of the security plan is an additional $800,000 to the current cost of security in the district.

Special Reserve Deputy Scott Thomann says the officers would undergo additional 40-hour training for de-escalation on school grounds. School board members say the goal is to decrease the number of students going downtown and to have better student behavior overall.

"Our officers are currently part-time officers. They rotate and aren't the same officers every day. We feel like the 10 full-time officers would provide that relationship piece that is so important at the high school level," says Lewis.

The Muscogee County School Board will vote on this option next week before voting on the 2019 Fiscal Year Budget on June 12.

If the recommendation doesn't pass, other options would be presented.

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