Today Superintendent Malcolm Thomas laid out his plan to enhance school security WITHOUT arming teachers:
–This year the District tried to use off-duty police officers for elementary schools while having School Resource Officers for middle and high schools, but it has been a struggle to provide full “bell-to-bell” coverage.
–The District will be hiring 40-45 “Campus Security Officers” (CSO) over the next six months. These NON-TEACHERS will ideally be retired military, retired law enforcement, or at least older, experienced people with a concealed weapons permit
–ECSO will offer CSO training this summer under the Guardian program. Funding will cover the training, guns, and ammunition
–The first class will start in June and take two months. The goal is to have 30 participants with an expected attrition rate of one third to produce 20 or so CSOs. A second class is planned for August for another 30 to produce 20 for an end pool of 40-45 total trained CSOs.
–Applicants must pass a background check, a psychological profile, and a polygraph in addition to going through the training. If they do not have a concealed weapons permit already, they may apply during training. Pay begins during training, which will also include emergency medical training. .
–Trained CSOs will be made available to local Charter Schools if they want to hire them.
–Funding for ongoing salary of the CSOs will come from dedicated “Safe Schools Categorical” funding which is separate from instructional or teacher salary funding. The District will not hire more CSOs than it can afford under this separate funding mechanism.
–The goal is to provide a CSO to all the elementary schools every day with 4-5 surplus CSOs for floating duty, sick day coverage, or to work at larger schools on any given day.
–Read more about the job desciption here:
Listen to full inteview with Superintendent Thomas