Muscogee County School Board discusses school security ahead of upcoming changes

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In a brief discussion at the top of the agenda at the Muscogee County School Board work session, those in the community offered their opinion on the new security changes coming to schools in Muscogee County.

"These will be your police officers. Just as Mr. Thomann has dedicated to the 33,000 children in the Muscogee County School District, these officers will have that same allegiance and not to another police department," explained one citizen during the public agenda.

The board approved a plan to hire 21 full-time police officers, one-part time officer assigned to the Public Education Center on Macon Road, and five additional positions including supervisors and an investigator at nearly $4 million. It still leaves 32 schools without permanent police protection since there are 57 schools in the district, but school board members say resources will be moved around if needed with a heavy focus on positive relationships between School Resource Officers and students.

"Really effective SRO's will participate in school functions, so they really have a different relationship with the students than you may have with people who are not accustomed to being at the school on a regular basis," said Superintendent David Lewis.

The board will approve the full budget in two weeks, which is the final step before the changes are in effect.

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