Blytheville Public Schools consider new resource officers

Blytheville Public Schools consider new resource officers

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The Blytheville Public School District is discussing obtaining new resource officers for the school.

Superintendent Richard Atwill suggested having the Mississippi County Sheriff's department place two deputies in the school as resource officers.

Currently the Blytheville Police Department has two officers serve in the schools. One is stationed at the middle school and one at the high school.

Atwill said only one officer is permanently stationed at the school though.

He said since the police staffing is tight in Blytheville one officer may have to leave on other calls.

The proposal to bring in the sheriff's department is to make sure both school resource officers are there at all times.

Atwill said he wants the school resource officers in all day because he wants safety to be proactive, instead of bring officers in after an issue arises.

He said the overall goal is to make sure the students are safe and he wants the kids to have a trusting relationship with law enforcement.

Parents like Misty Manrique agree that trust between the students and officers is key.

"It gives the kids security, it gives them a way to build a relationship with a police officer and if there is something going on at home or off of campus and it gives them that privacy to talk to somebody," Manrique said.

Atwill said he is only exploring the idea to move officers from the police department to the sheriff's department right now.

Sheriff Dale Cook told Region 8 News he has been made aware of the proposal and it is possible.

He said the process would take some time though if it was to happen.

He said it would have to go through the courts and require a lot of paperwork before anything could be permanent.

For now, the Blytheville Police Officers are still in the school as the resource officers.

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