The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
In the wake of recent shootings, Atlanta Public Schools wants to put more police on campus by creating a school-run force.
The aim of putting officers on campus every day would be to more effectively prevent crime and defuse conflicts with words instead of weapons, officials say.
“We’re talking about a framework where we have full-time officers, where they’re here five days a week all day long, where they learn the kids, where the kids confide in them, where they can start to spot emotional problems and issues before they get to this sort of crisis state,” Superintendent Erroll Davis said after an accidental shooting Wednesday at Grady High School.
The school district hasn’t revealed details of its policing plan. Currently, its security costs are the highest in the metro area despite having the fifth-largest student population.
Atlanta schools spent $9.2 million on school security in 2012. APS currently has 55 officers working in schools each day, spread among 103 learning sites across the city, district spokesman Stephen Alford said. In addition, the school system pays $1.6 million a year to Atlanta police to run a 20-person school detectives unit, the police department said.
Surrounding school districts — in Gwinnett, Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties — have run their own police operations for years at less expense. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last month that security costs ranged from $6.2 million in Fulton to $2.6 million in Gwinnett, the state’s largest school district.
Monday, March 04, 2013
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