Lonedell R-XIV School District’s on campus off-duty police officer has been working well so far, according to Superintendent Jenny Ulrich.

The district partnered with a consulting firm to recruit, train and schedule off-duty police officers. One police officer is on campus at a time for this school year.

At its June meeting, the board approved a one-year deficit spending budget in order to fund the added security.

Ulrich said parents have thanked her for the increased security.

“It’s very nice knowing that you do have an officer here on campus just because of the time that it takes to get to our district being a county school and not having a police force locally,” she said. “It’s a peace of mind I think for staff members and parents to know that we have a qualified individual on campus.”

Even with the added officer, Ulrich said she still has teachers and staff keeping a watchful eye.

“I still am asking our staff to stay vigilant and keep a watchful eye and be aware of surrounding or anything out of place,” she said.

Researching Options

During the course of the school year, district officials will study other long-term campus security options.

“We’re kind of just studying what our other options may be regarding different ways that other districts have approached this,” Ulrich said.

One option is hiring a security company/hybrid company such as Safe Shield or a security protection officer.

The school protection officer would have to attend three weeks of training in Jefferson City. The SPOs are not commissioned officers, according to Ulrich.

The hybrid company Safe Shield is based in Texas where school personnel would be sent to learn how to use and carry a firearm.

“We feel like that having security on campus is something that we really need and that we are really striving for in terms of keeping our students and staff safe,” Ulrich said. “There’s lots of different models that different districts are using regarding making that happen.”

Next month, Ulrich said she’s hoping to bring a speaker in front of the school board to discuss school security.

“My goal is for every month or every other month to present a different style or type of security model that different districts use,” she said.

Ulrich encourages anyone who has ideas to contact her at 636-629-0401 or by email at julrich@lonedell.org.

“I am inviting parents to part of that,” she said.“Anybody who would like to be on that committee or study group regarding how the district moves forward with security, (they are more) than welcome to be a part of that committee.”