ST. CHARLES (KMOV.com) - A task force charged with improving safety at schools in St. Charles County released its initial recommendations on Thursday.
The Schools, Mental Health and Emergency Services Task Force was formed in December, 2012 to improve school security after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The group of 14 compiled a list of 12 recommendations that it reported to St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann on Feb. 7. It released its findings to the public today:
1. Explore opportunities to expand use of School Resource Officers in high schools and middle schools.
2. Install equipment at schools that would connect them to St. Charles County's emergency radio system
3. Establish liaisons between schools and law enforcement
4. Schools that are renovating their buildings should focus on security in their project plans
5. All schools be made aware of mental behavioral health resources that are available. This includes Behavior Health Response's 24-response line and mental health first-aid training
6.All schools implement a mechanism for identifying troubled students
7. Turn community focus to increased funding for school based mental health services
8. Relevant information should be shared with all schools so they know to request Crisis Intervention Trained officers when necessary
9. Encourage the Missouri Legislature to identify funds that assist police departments in expanding the assignment of School Resource Officers
10. Work toward the de-stigmatization of mental health
11. St. Charles County Council should review laws concerning video game sales and ratings
12. School boards should review their polices concerning school entrances and exits during the school day and after hours
The task force is also suggesting the report be shared with all school administrators in St. Charles County. The group also asked for county officials arrange an event where school administrators could hear more about the recommendations.
Ehlmann will review the initial set of suggestions the task force has made. In March, he will determine the next steps that should be taken. The final report is due on June 1.