Tulsa Public Schools is one step closer to having cops on campus. The school board on Monday night approved a plan to hire the district's first 15 officers. The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports the school board rubber stamped a plan to make the TPS police force a reality.
They believe it's necessary to keep students safe. TPS used to rely on a private security firm and the Tulsa Police Department to deal with disturbances on school campuses, but Superintendent Dr. Michael Zolkoski wanted to make security a top priority by starting a district police force.
The school board hired 20 year-veteran police officer, Gary Ruddick, last month to lead the force. Now, the district will hire 15 officers to serve under him.
Those officers will be charged with investigating crimes, searching for weapons, and dealing with campus emergencies. Just because T-P-S has its own force, it doesn't mean you won't see Tulsa Police officers or private security guards.
With large events, like the recent fight at Lewis and Clark, the TPS force will still call on TPD for back up. And, the district will still contract with security firms to provide guards at a number of schools.
"Parents can expect a better security environment for your kids. You can expect the officers to be trained specifically in school policing and familiar with those laws," said Tulsa Public Schools Police Chief Gary Ruddick.
TPS is expected to spend about half a million dollars on the program. But, that money came from a federal grant.
You can expect to see TPS officers on duty starting probably in November.