NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The North Little Rock School District board approved a proposal to reorganize the school safety department.
“We’re going to make security our number one focus,” said North Little Rock School board member, Tracy Steele who was a part of the unanimous vote.
This proposal includes 11-armed, commissioned school security officers, located at the nine elementary campuses, Pike View Early Childhood Center, and North Little Rock Academy.
Also, 27 unarmed security officers in partnership with armed school resource officers from the North Little Rock Police Department at middle schools and high school campuses and the Center of Excellence.
Board member Steele says, “these are times that we have to step up our game,” with recent mass shootings including an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students and 2 teachers dead.
Shenna Stigall has three kids in the North Little Rock School District. One going to 9th grade and two going to 7th grade.
Stigall says she is “kind of riding the fence on it” because she feels kids may interpret the measures the wrong way.
She says a student may think their safety is in jeopardy which could lead to a need to protect themselves.
Board member Steele says in the past he would not have voted in favor of having firearms in schools.
But now, he says too many shootings are happening frequently, and “we’ve got to do something.”
The plan will also include one security captain and two security sergeants.
Three technology positions that will oversee digital safety using cameras, alarms, and new innovative automation, along with district and campus-based crisis intervention planning.
Upgraded security protocols that align with national safety recommendations for best practices in schools.
Threat assessment teams at each campus and Central Office sites.
New security uniforms for all Safety Services Department personnel.
Enhanced security measures at extracurricular and special events sponsored by the school district.
School climate surveys to determine where safety can be improved and to develop plans of action.
After being approved by the Board, now it goes to an employee committee for discussion and approval.
After that, the plan will go back to the North Little Rock Board of education for final approval at its next meeting.