Corridor school district considers adding school resource officers

In a meeting held in the beginning of March, Iowa City Community School District leaders open up the idea to bring in school resource officers to their schools.

The Iowa City Community School District is working on efforts to keep their kids safe in the classroom. District leaders say they currently use methods like controlled access to buildings to keep their students safe. As of right now, they don't have a constant presence of law enforcement on their schools’ grounds, but that could soon change.

"Having officers present in the school will be a very significant change for the district," said Stephen Murley, Superintendent of Schools for the Iowa City Community School District.

The Iowa City Community School District say they have never had school resource officers before, but security measures have always been taken seriously.

"When you come into one of our schools, you'll have to buzz in to start with,” explained Murley. “You're on camera on the microphone with the person in the front office. They want to find out who you are; why you're here."

Following the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month, school resource officers are being reconsidered in Iowa City.

"One of the things we have experienced in the past couple of weeks is a heightened sense of awareness by our students," said Murley.

Currently, the district says they work well with local law enforcement departments. They receive ALICE (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate) training from members of the local law enforcement who are certified.

"Over the last few years we followed that up with actual exercises where we'll put them in their environment, in their classrooms, in their hallways, in their school,” said Sergeant Derek Frank of the Iowa City Police Department.

In addition to training, the Iowa City Police Department says it keeps a close eye on the schools.

"The patrol officers will—in their daily patrolling duties—just stop by various schools in their areas,” said Sergeant Frank.

With the school district considering a more constant approach, district leaders plan on creating a task force made up of parents and students to weigh in on any future security decisions.

"This gives them the opportunity to go through to weigh the pros and cons to decide if it's a good fit here for our students, for our community,” said Murley.

The school district board will recruit parents and students to join the task force within the next few months.

Superintendent Murley says he does not expect any major security changes to be made before the end of this school year.

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