Oklahoma City Public Schools and the city of Oklahoma City have agreed on a deal to hire additional police officers for elementary school duty and share the cost, The Oklahoman has learned.
The school district has scheduled a news conference for 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Greystone Upper Elementary School, 2401 NW 115 Terrace, to announce the details of the amended contract, officials said Wednesday.
City Manager Jim Couch said the city is “forming a partnership with the school district that’ll work well for both parties.”
Couch said the deal included provisions for hiring additional police officers and a cost-sharing arrangement between the city and schools.
The district currently pays the city up to $1.6 million annually for 16 police officers and two supervisors to provide security at each high school and middle school.
Under the amended contract, the district would pay the city an additional $300,000 for seven new officers. Those officers plus one of the existing 16 officers will rotate among the district’s 55 elementary schools, officials said.
“This new plan will improve security and safety while providing great role models for (our) youngest students,” district spokeswoman Tierney Tinnin said in a statement.
Last month, Rod McKinley, the district’s head of security, said he planned to add a police presence at several elementary schools to protect students and teachers and improve learning.
McKinley identified areas of concern at nine elementary schools.
The district is having trouble attracting substitute teachers, which can lead to overcrowded classrooms and additional security issues, he said.
Last month, police arrested a fourth-grader at Coolidge Elementary after teachers found an unloaded handgun in his backpack. McKinley said the incident at Coolidge, 5212 S Villa, might have been avoided had there been a police presence on campus.
William Crum, Staff Writer