Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake announced Tuesday that police coverage at Metro Schools for the upcoming school year will be the highest ever, and will include elementary, middle and high school campuses.
Chief Drake, joined by @MetroSchools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle, today announced an enhanced security plan for the 2022-23 school year that begins Monday. The plan includes having the highest number of officers ever on campuses. More here: https://t.co/ZVJk1ogD31 pic.twitter.com/m7Dci0wx3L
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) August 2, 2022
In a press release, Chief Drake announced that beginning August 8th, officers will be “present and highly visible” at all public elementary schools in an overtime capacity for several hours each day. Campuses will also be regularly visited by on-duty officers, to include those at the precinct level or those in the Special Operations Division (including traffic unit and motorcycle officers).
Middle schools will receive daily coverage by School Resource Officers on a rotating basis so that each campus will have an SRO present for hours at a time during each school day. Additionally, SROs will be teaching Drug Abuse Resistance Education (known as D.A.R.E.) and conflict resolution programs to 6th through 8th graders in all MNPS middle schools, according to the press release.
All 13 comprehensive high schools will have at least two officers assigned to them. There will also be a coordinated police presence at the magnet high schools, the press release notes.
Drake’s plan utilizing officers on overtime and the anticipated creation of part-time elementary school safety ambassadors is presently estimated to cost between $5 million and $6 million, the press release outlines.
“The May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, just days before the semester ended for our own Metro School students, shocked the conscience of Nashvillians and left us all in sheer disbelief,” Drake said in a statement. “Very soon after the Uvalde tragedy, I directed that members of our police department, led by Deputy Chief Mike Alexander, begin meetings with MNPS leadership to develop plans for enhanced security measures.”
“Keeping sight of our staffing levels, our plan for the upcoming school year attempts to strike the right balance to enhance the safety of students and teachers with the greatest number of officers on campuses in our history, while at the same time protecting Nashville’s neighborhoods and businesses,” the police chief further stated.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Chief John Drake” by MNPS.