NEOSHO, Mo. — The Neosho School District announced on Tuesday, their plan to commission its own certified police department.

Set for the beginning of next school year in August, the move marks the sixth school district in the state of Missouri to commission its own police force after Blue Springs, Dunklin, Nixa, Springfield, and Willard school districts.

In a release, the district said the safety and well-being of their students is a priority and the inclusion of an internal police force would assure a safe learning environment.

Neosho School District’s Board of Education plans to authorize a total of four NSDPD officers to oversee all properties pertaining to the district, including athletic facilities, school buses, and anywhere else where Neosho students would participate. They would report directly to Assistant Superintendent Riche Fretwell.

“We greatly appreciate our longstanding partnership with the Neosho Police Department and Newton County Sheriff’s Office,” Assistant Superintendent Richie Fretwell said. “The officers’ roles within our school district have left a lasting impression on our students and staff, and we are grateful,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies will sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to describe the new agreement between them and the newly formed internal PD.

Crimes outside of NDSPD’s jurisdiction such as felony and sexual offenses will still be handled by NPD and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.