The Norman Transcript

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January 14, 2014

Norman PSST ballot date under question

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The Norman Police Department is taking an active role of working in the school and teaching programs to reduce bullying and prevent date rape. Having officers in schools who build relationships with students also helps police recruit for its explorer program and down the road for recruiting future officers.

“It’s about building long-term relationships,” Humphrey said.

He said the presence of school officers would increase safety, improve response time and reduce property damage in and around schools. Chief Humphrey was an SRO at one point in his career.

“It’s all about quality of life,” he said.

If the PSST is approved with school officers as part of the package, the program will not take officers off the street but would have another academy to fill those extra positions. Officers are carefully selected for school duty and must have the right personality to work with students. The CLEET certified officers would not enforce school policy or dress codes. They are police officers who only enforce the law.

Council member Lynne Miller, a former teacher, said she supports the cost share proposal to add the school officers.

“I’ve had many positive experiences,” Miller said.

The school and the city have discussed adding school officers for more than two years.

“This has been something that has been discussed since I’ve been here,” Humphrey said. “The school is part of the community. The school district is a part of this dialogue.”

Joy Hampton

366-3544

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

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