NEOSHO, MO.--- Neosho schools are learning to cope with a change when it comes to security. Police officers will no longer be patrolling Neosho school facilities. City officials decided to end the partnership with the school district. The decision was put into effect this week and Neosho schools are now relying on their own school security.
"We do have the presence, we just don't have the title," said Dan Decker, Neosho Superintendent.
Neosho city officials and the school district are ending a partnership, a police resource officer patrolling the campus grounds. School Superintendent Dan Decker says while both sides saw the value in working together, there were too many differences.
"Sometimes you know when the law enforcement world and the school world come together, there's difference in opinion. There's a difference in lines that are drawn," said Decker.
For Decker, safety is a top priority.
"What I've really tried to focus in on is for us, the school district's number one priority is the students' safety. And we are going to do everything that we can to ensure that, that happens," said Decker.
They are, with a focus on their in-house security officer. Michelle Wilson has worked in both education and law enforcement for almost 20 years.
"To incorporate the two passions that I have to do this job, to keep these kids safe and in school and working to the best of their ability. I would almost volunteer but don't tell anybody that," said Michelle Wilson, Neosho School Security.
She says she's ready to tackle the responsibility of both positions.
"It's been difficult but I know we are going to do the very best we can to keep them safe," said Wilson.
Decker says his goal is to get a police officer back on school grounds.
"I'm not giving up that somewhere down the road after some time have been allowed to pass that we won't be able to come back to the table and maybe find an agreement or reach an agreement with the city to put the resource officer program that was originally in place back in place," said Decker.
A police officer may not be on school grounds, but they are right around the corner. Parents should not worry about their child's safety. If there is an issue where police should be involved, they are just a phone call away.
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