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Atlanta Public Schools
Wed January 16, 2013
Atlanta Public Schools Considering District Police Department
President Barack Obama has unveiled the administration’s comprehensive plan regarding gun violence, and it includes how to make schools safer.
Here locally, officials with the Atlanta Public Schools are already considering implementing the district’s own police force.
During this week’s school board meeting, Superintendent Erroll Davis talked about exploring the idea.
Right now APS employs part-time Atlanta Police officers to work as security resource officers, but only in middle and high schools.
If APS had its own police department that would change, says spokesperson Steven Alford.
“We’ve been looking at how we manage security at our schools for over a year now.”
Alford says last month’s shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut has prompted the district to investigate how to establish a police force.
But more importantly, he says full-time police officers would be more than just a security presence.
“What we’re really trying to do is create an environment where the officer fosters a relationship with the cluster of schools that he or she may be assigned to and that way we have better service provided to the school.”
President Obama’s plan to reduce gun violence includes an initiative to help local school districts hire up to 1,000 school resource officers.
Also, the Department of Justice would develop a model for using those officers.
The APS board would still need to vote on implementing a police department.