Ohio District to Expand Police Officer Presence in Schools

Ohio District to Expand Police Officer Presence in Schools

The Fairfield City School District is expanding the presence of police officers in its schools by adding an officer to each of its secondary schools starting next year.

The Fairfield City School District is expanding the presence of police officers in its schools by adding an officer to each of its secondary schools starting next year.

Last month, the City Council approved the allocation of two more school resource officers. Those positions will be funded by the Fairfield City School District.

“The two additional SROs will enable us to station an officer at each of the secondary educational buildings, which includes the Fairfield Senior High School, Fairfield Freshman School, Crossroads Middle School and Creekside Middle School,” Fairfield City Manager Mark Wendling said.

Superintendent Billy Smith said that the “unfortunate” need to increase the police presence within schools is a result of the current environment.

“Unfortunately, we live in a world in which there are occasions that we receive some type of threat,” Smith said. “When that happens, we work directly with our local law enforcement agencies. Typically, an SRO is the officer that works directly with the district when there is a safety and security threat. Having additional officers in our schools will make our schools safer and more secure. In addition, our students, staff, and families find comfort in knowing that a police officer is on site.”

One of the benefits of increasing the district’s number of school resource officers is that they provide “another positive role model for our students,” Smith said. They’re also “great resources for our staff and parents,” he added.

“The two school resource officers that we have work very hard to build relationships with our students, staff and parents,” he said. “They go out of their way to get to know kids.”

School resource officers serve as more than just law enforcement on campus, Smith said.

“Time and time again, we have witnessed situations where a student connects with an SRO and will open up to the SRO when he or she may not open up to anyone else. That isn’t the case with every student, but it happens,” Smith said. “Our SROs are visible in the hallways. They greet students. They check in with certain students that they are worried about. They make a difference in the lives of our kids each and every day.”

Historically, school resource officers have been funded by the city, but the district will pay for half of the cost of expanding to four SROs next school year. The estimated cost will be $252,000 for each entity, city and school officials said. The actual cost will be determined after duty assignments have been made, they said.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

Digital Edition

  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - March April 2019

    March/April 2019

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