The Washington Post reports that more than 215,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine.
That happens to be around the time Sand Springs had its last School Resource Officer.
Many local school districts, including Sand Springs, are taking action.
Sand Springs Schools has about 10 different facilities to manage and about 5,200 students they are responsible for. They say that’s why they are working to add a uniformed officer to their schools.
“It really, certainly, makes you lose a little sleep at night making sure your kids are safe,” said Sand Springs Superintendent Sherry Durkee.
Durkee says after several school shootings this year, school leaders met in June to discuss a potential plan for their district.
“I’m not sure that you’re ever ready for something like that, but it’s certainly good to make sure everyone is on the same page and understands what the crisis plan entails and what their job responsibilities are,” Durkee said.
Sand Springs added a CLEET-certified security guard last year, but they didn’t believe one person was enough, so that’s when they approached the city council about adding a school resource officer.
“It’s really the presence that makes the difference,” stated Durkee.
“It gives teachers and students the peace of mind that there’s a law enforcement presence in their schools on a daily basis,” said Sand Springs Police Captain Todd Enzbrenner.
Enzbrenner says a resource officer is the first line of defense for a violent crime, but having uniformed officers in the hallways also helps build relationships with students at the schools.
“Once our students see that we are normal too, it helps us build relationships and even could help deter or prevent future crimes,” stated Enzbrenner.
Even though Sand Springs is a quiet area, Durkee says it never hurts to be prepared.
“Sand Springs is a safe community, but you can’t help ponder the potential for any of that to happen to anyone,” she said.
The Sand Springs School Board still has to approve the School Resource Officer at their August 6th meeting, but, if approved, that officer will start this coming fall.