JCPS SRO/SSO

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Jefferson County Public Schools is looking for input on its new proposal on school safety officers.

During a virtual town hall Wednesday night, parents and community members had the chance to ask questions to district leaders. Several questions focused on the selection process and how to hold school security officers accountable.

The plan creates two new positions: safety administrators and school safety officers. Safety administrators would work from inside the building, managing and assessing threats. School security officers would be armed law officers patrolling between three and seven buildings by car — one high school, one middle school and multiple elementary schools.

"Both of these are going to have to be highly trained positions," said JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio.

While most people could only text questions in during the town hall, a select group of community partners participated in the Zoom call.

"How will the screening go for particular SSOs?" asked Tamara Patterson, a JCTA board member.

Other questions revolved around the selection and vetting process of SSOs.

"That's part of the policy and job description we're currently working on right now for that hiring and screening process. It's multi-faceted," Chris Perkins, JCPS chief operations officer said.

"What we are going to be looking for in this screening process is, are those that are in it for the right purpose and those doing this to connect and build relationships with kids," Pollio said.

Other questions focused on holding SSOs accountable.

"This proposal does include a school safety officer advisory team, this team would meet at least quarterly," said Perkins.

Questions sent in by text expressed hesitancy in no longer having an armed officer inside the building.

One question sent in asked, "if SSOs are working multiple schools in a distance, why not just call police?"

"Well there may be situations where we do have to call in local law enforcement for additional support," Perkins said. "But the idea is these schools and their assigned safety officer develop a relationship to be as proactive as possible but also promote this idea of safety." 

Anyone in the community still has the chance to give feedback to JCPS. You can do that by filling out a form here.

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