Eight new police officers will now be working to protect your children during the school day.
Since July 8, these officers completed 144 hours of training in order to be sworn in Thursday.
80 of those hours were spent on basic school resource training. Among the other lessons–crisis intervention, de-escalation techniques, and when to use force, first aid/CPR, learning how to use Narcan and being fluent in school law – all to make sure they serve your child fully.
In front of family and friends, eight new police officers.. raised their right hands and swore to protect the children of the Muscogee County School system.
“This is a compilation of a lot of hard work, sweat and a lot of man-hours to get to this point. I’m excited about the staff that we have onboard and the program that we’ve put together, I’m looking forward to getting into schools and delivering services to our students and staff and our parents,” says Police Chief Greg Arp.
Under his leadership, the department will focus on more than just walking the hallways and monitoring the campus.
“We’re gonna be in the classroom, we’re going to be teaching classes if the teachers want us to, we’re going to be interacting with the students, if we identify a student that’s at-risk or if the school does, then we’ll be happy to mentor that student if necessary, we’ll do some counseling if we need to,” he continued.
Arp says they plan to add more officers to the department by December. His plan is to have 15 officers rotating in each school this year. Eventually he wants 25 officers including the command staff – a captain and two sergeants.
Captain James Morris is Arp’s “right-hand man”. Morris will assist him in the administration and day-to-day activities. Arp describes him as “pivotal for this program” as he brings “a wealth of knowledge”.
For Capt. Morris this job goes beyond security. “The relationship between the students and the officers, building a rapport, seeing the mentorship grow and become something a little more than the police officer being the bogeyman,” Morris says.