Improvements in safety are on the horizon for many of Columbia’s public schools.
A new police substation, additional street lights, and electronic locks are all part of a list of measures the Columbia Public School System is taking to make schools safer.
The efforts are in part an attempt to meet the need created by the fewer numbers of School Resource Officers in the school system. Jefferson Jr. High School will be opening a police substation once IT problems are resolved. Once the station is open, police officers will be encouraged to do some of their routine work, such as paperwork and making phone calls, from the substation instead of their regular police station.
The new substation is a step towards restoring some additional police presence to the schools.
John White is the Director of Safety and Security for Columbia Public Schools. He says he hopes that the new substation will foster positive interactions between the officers and the students.
“The hope is that the same officers that work the same schedule, the same days, the same times will be able to come in there and build up some relationships with those kids and the staff,” White says.
White also has plans to install motion activated IP cameras at Jefferson Jr. High and two other schools to continue expanding the safe learning atmosphere.