LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One day after WAVE 3 News' exclusive Troubleshooter investigation revealed corrections officers were emailed to take JCPS off-duty school security jobs, the JCPS superintendent said it wasn't the district's doing.
“I can’t comment about anybody else about other than what we send as JCPS,” Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said Thursday.
The email listed a number of high schools including Iroquois, Seneca, Western and Moore. The email, which came after the removal of school resource officers, also stated the pay rate was $240 a day. Pollio said that to his knowledge, there are no corrections officers currently working for JCPS.
Pollio stated the email was sent by an outside company to the district’s contracts to fill its new security force positions.
School Board Member Linda Duncan called the move “ironic.”
“It was just an attempt to avoid the appearance of putting SROs back in the building,” she said.
Duncan said she was alarmed after the WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter investigation, which confirmed that increased numbers of assaults and guns have been reported across the district in the last two school years. A spokesperson told WAVE 3 News that the numbers so far this year have remained flat.
“The story is a very sobering reminder to me of the realities our teachers are facing,” Duncan said.
The investigation showed 15 reports of handguns found in schools so far this year, four of which were on school grounds. It also showed more than 600 investigations involving weapons, drugs and students being out of control.
"There’s more behind the camera that probably goes on that don’t get reported,” Jerome Bilderberg, an Iroquois High School parent, said.
He said he wants to pull his daughters out of the school.
“It used to be a safe zone,” Bilderberg said. “Now it’s a war zone.”
Pollio said it’s important to keep in mind that only 38 schools had SROs last year.
“We’ve been working hard to get our own internal SRO division up, and that’s what we’re doing right now,” Pollio said.
In the meantime, Duncan said she believes teachers and students are exposed.
“If you don’t have law enforcement there with you, then you have to wait for law enforcement to show up, and anything can happen in that time,” she said.
Duncan said the opinions of principals and teachers about SROs was not taken into account before their removal.
In fact, WAVE 3 News learned that some schools are paying for their own SROs and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department has placed two SROs at Iroquois for free.