County hears police proposal for all schools

Moore County Commissioners met with the Moore County School Board at its special meeting on Sept. 28 to review a proposal to expand the schools’ police presence.

The primary focus for campuses is law enforcement’s response time with an active shooter.

There are currently 11 law officers, and a police chief overseeing campuses.

The proposal request is for 13 new law officers, which would allow a full-time law officer on each campus, plus a part-time position at Pinecrest High School, and a roving captain position to supervise.

The proposal includes patrol cars for each officer. The marked patrol cars provide a visual warning to deter criminal behavior. The cars also attract employees.

The estimated initial cost is $1,534,143. Review details on costs here, at 17:12.

The estimated yearly cost is $1.67 million.

The general requirement for three years of experience would be relaxed to recruit law officers quickly. Recruitment is more difficult, according to Sheriff Ronnie Fields, in this present time.

Fields said the school law officers also respond to traffic concerns.

“I recommend you vote for this and to prioritize this,” Fields said.

The school law officers would be paid the equivalent of working for the sheriff’s department.

The estimated cost for one law officer per year would be $45,998.

A commissioner asked if the law officers should receive the same pay as sheriff’s department workers because of the belief that schools have a safer environment.

Law enforcement officers on school campuses experience unstable parents and hostile environments and are in potentially deadly situations, considering the frequency of shooters.

The Moore County School Board will further discuss the proposal and financing options at its work session on Oct. 5.

The estimated timeline to fund and recruit officers is a year.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected].

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