A school teacher and a police officer are working together to make schools in Wentzville safer.
Alderman Brian Harr, a police officer, and Alderman Matt Swanson, a teacher, want to put a police officer in every school. Currently, only some of the district schools have student resources officers (SROs).
“We want highly trained officers. We can hire private security guards but they don’t have the ability to arrest,” said Swanson.
The officers would be armed.
"I have school age children in the Wentzville school district and I want to see some action and I happen to be in a position to take some," said Harr.
Harr said adding an officer at every school is a good star to make children safer.
"Its not going to solve the problem, its not going to eliminate the threat we know that," said Harr.
The Wentzville School District has six officers stationed at the high schools but they are shared among the middle and elementary schools in the district.
The Board of Alderman plan to work with the Wentzville School Board to figure out what the proposal would cost. The issue lies with the fact that Wentzville School District does not just include Wentzville, but O’Fallon, St. Charles County and Lake St. Louis. Swanson says he is hopeful they can all work together to make this a reality.
“I do believe 100 percent we will be able to finance this,” Swanson said.
Wentzville Police Department said it would require hiring four to five additional officers.
Fort Zumwalt, Francis Howell and St. Charles School District all have officers at some of their schools and said they would like to have officers at every school but it would require other police departments to make additional hires and for them all to find the funding.
St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann said they would consider looking into funding if schools thought it was a good idea.
Ehlmann said they have taken a comprehensive look at school safety following Parkland, including reviewing the things learned from the Schools, Mental Health and Emergency Services Task Force established in 2013.
Harr said this is still an early part of the process but they hope Wentzville can get the ball rolling.
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