The number of reported crimes is down at Oak Ridge High School since police officers were given office space there in August, and a move recommended by city administrators could add another school resource officer in the Oak Ridge school system.
It’s part of a program to improve student safety and use law enforcement to reduce unacceptable student behaviors, Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson and Police Chief Jim Akagi said.
Oak Ridge Schools now have one school resource officer, or SRO. There have been discussions about adding more officers, especially since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012, but funding has been an obstacle.
On Monday, the Oak Ridge City Council will consider a resolution that would allow the Oak Ridge Police Department to hire an extra police officer, exceeding its authorized personnel staffing levels, in order to assign an existing police officer as an SRO. There have been proposals to add more—in December, City Council member Trina Baughn proposed one at each of the city’s two middle schools—but Watson and Akagi are recommending one additional officer now. [Read more…]