By Jess Kelsey
Canadian County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement between the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department and the Mustang Public School system to provide three full time, on duty law enforcement officers for eight Mustang school sites each day school is in session.
This agreement comes from decisions made by MPS Board of Education members during their monthly meeting in June, in which they voted to increase security by having two Mustang Police Department resource officers, three Canadian County law enforcement officers, six individuals from Omega Security Specialists, Inc., a private security group based out of Oklahoma City, and one coordinator of security and safety that will be employed by MPS on campuses throughout the district.
The Canadian County law enforcement officers will cover Mustang North Middle School, Mustang Trails Elementary, Mustang Creek Elementary, Mustang Valley Elementary, Prairie View Elementary, Riverwood Elementary, Meadow Brook Intermediate and Canyon Ridge Intermediate School for the nine months of the school year.
This agreement will help increase the number of law enforcement formerly present throughout MPS from four to now 12, which board members in June emphasized is greatly needed due to the district’s continued growth.
“I’m embarrassed that we only have four (law enforcement personnel),” said former board president Chad Fulton back in June telling fellow board members there needed to be “more eyes at the schools.”
Interim Superintendent Charles Bradley said during the June board meeting that MPS has enjoyed a long and vital relationship with both the Mustang Police Department and the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office. According to Bradley, these relationships provide armed law officers on the district’s campuses, as well as provides a main-line to be able to arrest individuals on the spot for drug and other offenses with a direct line to the District Attorney’s Office.
MPS will provide a portion of the Canadian County law enforcement officers’ salaries and costs at a total amount of $157,231.00 for the nine months of service.
According to Undersheriff Kevin Ward, the CCSO is in the process of identifying deputies to fill these three roles, and patrol start dates will depend on potential need of training, if any.