OLDHAM COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Oldham County School Board unanimously voted Monday night to add seven new full-time School Security Officers (SSOs) to the district.
The district currently has three School Resource Officers, but the new officers will function differently. They'll be uniformed, have full arrest power and will be present during student arrival and dismissal as well as in hallways and "high traffic" areas in the school, according to a news release from the district. Their main responsibility will be be security of the school.
"I wish I could stand here and tell you it will never happen again, but I can't," said Oldham County Police Chief Greg Smith, referring to recent school shootings around the country. "So you have to have layers of protection."
The officers will be distributed at the following schools:
- One officer on the South campus
- One officer on the North campus
- One officer on the Buckner campus
- One officer on the E. Oldham Middle School/Locust Grove campus
- One officer at Centerfield Elementary
- One officer at Goshen Elementary
- One officer at La Grange Elementary
The SSOs will do regular checks of doors, parking lots and other security points of each school and will respond to any emergency situation, should one arise.
Six of the officers will come from the Oldham County Police Department, and one will come from La Grange Police. Several of the officers are people who have recently retired from Oldham County Police.
After adding the seven SSOs to the three current SROs, there will now be 10 total officers. The salaries of the new officers, which will total about $320,000 per year, will be paid for by the district.
"Our No. 1 job is student safety," Superintendent Greg Schultz said. "We preach it on buses and in the hallways. You can't learn if you don't feel safe."
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