CHESTERFIELD POLICE TO EXPAND SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICER PROGRAM TO ALL CHESTERFIELD SCHOOLS
In the aftermath of the recent elementary school tragedy in Connecticut, and in response to the concerns of the Chesterfield School Community, the Chesterfield Police Department will expand its current School Resource Officer program to include all Chesterfield schools, both public and private at the elementary level through high school.
Currently the Chesterfield Police Department has School Resource officers assigned to each of the two high schools and two middle schools within the City of Chesterfield; those four officers will remain full time in their respective schools. Under this new program, and in addition to that police presence in the middle and high schools, an officer from the Chesterfield Police Departments Community Policing Unit will be re-assigned to provide additional security at all elementary schools and the one private high school located within the Chesterfield community.
This reallocation of police resources comes in response to communications between the Chief of Police and the school superintendents/administrators of the area districts. In a recent meeting on safe schools, Chief Johnson stated "I feel it is imperative to protect the most precious commodity in our community, our children, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure their safety and security. In spite of the recent school tragedy's we hear about in the media, our schools remain the safest place for our children; and we will work to maintain a continued safe learning environment for the students and a comfort level for the parents and staff."
This new initiative is supported by the Rockwood and Parkway School Districts, as well as the several private and parochial schools that will benefit by having a police officer present during their school day. "We are tremendously grateful to the Chesterfield Police Department for their leadership and ongoing support," said Keith Marty, Parkway Superintendent. "The new elementary SRO pilot project sends a strong message that our community is continuing to do everything it can to keep our students and staff safe at school."
The additional SRO will not be assigned to any one school at a set time, but will maintain a highly visible police presence at each school throughout the school week. Patrol services in the City of Chesterfield will not be negatively impacted and no additional costs will be incurred to either the Police Department or schools, instead the new position is made possible as a result of the rescheduling and reassigning of duties and responsibilities involving several administrative type police positions within the department.