Oklahoma Commission on School Security considers mental health, school safety clearinghouse

The Oklahoma Commission on School Security heard ideas Wednesday from the leaders of two state agencies. The commission is expected to make its final recommendations to lawmakers March 5.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Modified: February 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm •  Published: February 28, 2013
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• Specialized outreach and engagement teams. A small number of mentally ill people who are dangerous often lose contact with the mental health care system after leaving psychiatric hospitals or lockup facilities, White said. Six teams of mental health professionals would be distributed across the state: Oklahoma City, Tulsa and the four quadrants of Oklahoma. The professionals would maintain contact with those high-risk individuals and make sure they are connected to services. The cost would be about $1 million, White said.

Kim Carter, director of the Oklahoma office of Homeland Security, proposed one program:

• Oklahoma school safety and security resource center. The center would serve as a clearinghouse for training, school procedures and information for educators throughout the state, Carter said. It also would provide training for experts in the criminal justice and mental health fields. The center would be run by the Oklahoma office of Homeland Security, but other agencies could serve as partners. The center would cost about $522,000, Carter said.