MNPD to provide enhanced security for Metro schools
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake met with the media on Tuesday morning to discuss the department’s plan for school security as classes are set to begin this month around Nashville.
Chief Drake assured that police coverage for this school year will be the highest ever for Metro elementary, middle and high schools.
“The May 24th 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,” Chief Drake said. “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.”
Beginning August 8, officers will be visible at all Metro elementary schools for several hours each day. On-duty officers will also routinely visit school campuses. Eventually, unarmed safety ambassadors will be employed by Metro Schools to provide daily security. These individuals will be equipped with a radio plugged into police frequency and work with school staff and MNPD officers.
School resource officers will rotate amongst Nashville’s middle schools, providing hours of coverage on a daily basis. These SROs will also teach Drug Abuse Resistance Education courses and conflict resolution to 6th and 8th graders.
Finally, Drake announced that all thirteen high schools in Metro Nashville will be assigned at least two officers. A coordinated police presence will be ongoing throughout the school year, as well.
In all, Chief Drake said the enhanced school coverage will cost between $5 million and $6 million.
Metro Schools Director Dr. Adrienne Battle joined Chief Drake for Tuesday’s announcement.
“Having additional staff inside the schools, whether retired police officers serving as Safety Ambassadors or campus support positions, will help us ensure that we are putting our safety plans into practice by monitoring for compliance and doing those type of pressure tests that will keep everyone vigilant and alert to their responsibilities around safety, while also ensuring our teachers and staff can remain focused on their daily job of educating and supporting students,” Dr. Battle said.
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