JCPS security plan differs from smaller districts like Oldham Co

Updated: Aug. 7, 2018 at 7:11 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Tuesday night's meeting of the Jefferson County School Board will look at the JCPS plan to put a security officer in every middle and high school. This would end the current Student Resource Officer's contracts with area police departments.

Other districts like Oldham County are also changing security. Oldham is adding seven new officers from area police departments to its force , they will join the three existing SRO's, and the plan is completely different from what JCPS is proposing.

The JCPS proposal ends current School Resource Officers contracts after this year with agencies like LMPD and Jeffersontown Police, and creates a JCPS security team of trained officers with police powers. Those officers who would answer to a head of security and the Superintendent.

The plan costs $2.4 million in set up alone. The district isn't saying yet if those officers will carry guns.

"What JCPS is telling the high school kid now is that the police officers out in the community are not your friend," said Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf.

The mayor believes JCPS is creating a huge burden by creating its own force. He says why not build on the highly trained SROs they already have. Dieruf says the JCPS plan also presents a safety issue with no connection to local police departments.

"Who are they going to be tied to the other police officers in the other schools?"  Dieruf said. "And you're so widespread, are they going to have to dial 9-1-1?"

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Unlike JCPS, Oldham County's 18 schools will have a combination of police security officers and SRO's, who all answer to local police agencies with a total of 10 officers. Single schools will get a security officer, and combined campuses will share an officer who will join the SROs. Their new officers will focus on securing each school.

"We're talking about hiring officers, some of them retired but are familiar or are formerly on the force out here," said Oldham County Schools Director of Student Services Jonathan Wosoba. "So, they know the geography, they know personnel, they know the landscape."

"We have a few schools that are outlying schools, all by themselves no campuses." Wosoba said. "Those schools will receive their own school security officer."

He said campuses will work have SRO's that work in tandem with school security officers. Oldham County's new officers will cost the district about $300,000 and they'll sign one year contracts based on the school year.

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