Tuesday, August 14, 2001

Police assign another cop to schools


Resource officers provide assurance

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Cincinnati Police Division has assigned one more officer this school year to its staff patrolling the city's 150 public, private and charter schools, bringing the total to 11 officers.

        The increased security measure is due in part to the civil unrest the city experienced in April, said Sgt. Daniel Daum of the division's Youth Services Section.

        The school resource officers are full-time uniformed officers who augment security staff in individual schools, patrolling halls and school grounds.

        The new school officer will focus efforts primarily on downtown elementary schools, freeing another officer to devote more time to Taft High School in the West End and the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Over-the-Rhine, he said.

        Sgt. Daum said the police division shifted responsibilities of some personnel to create the ex tra position.

        “It's an extra set of eyes and ears for the downtown schools,” he said.

        Since the April 9-12 protests and riots, 77 shooting incidents have left 15 people dead and at least 88 hurt. Homicides total 33 since Jan. 1, compared with 40 for all of last year. The police division formed a task force almost three weeks ago to combat the violence, and it has focused most of its attention on Over-the-Rhine and surrounding neighborhoods.

        School resource officers help principals and school staff, for example, confiscate drugs or other contraband, and, in some cases, make arrests. They also have videos that help school staffs identify potentially violent students.

        “Our principals are very good at identifying students that have problems but this will make them further attuned to that,” said John Concannon, Cincinnati Public Schools legal counsel.

        School resource officers begin patrolling schools next week. SCPA begins classes Aug. 22; other Cincinnati public schools start Aug. 27.

       



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