The Ladue School Board continued its dialogue on school safety at the regular monthly district workshop meeting, and among the ideas discussed was putting police sub-stations in schools.
Rich Wooten, Ladue’s chief of police, was among those at the workshop meeting; he said the idea of sub-stations might work.
The Ladue district is also considering hiring a security consulting firm. Fees would range anyway from $12,000 to $15,000 for one year of service.
On Jan. 31, Jason Buckner of the district and five other district employees attended a county school safety meeting for law enforcement. Buckner reviewed the highlights of the meeting with the school board members.
These were some of the highlights of the discussion:
- There is no single answer to an active shooter situation
- If a shooter does not care about his/her own life, then shootings cannot be prevented
- Some tax money may have to be set aside to beef up building security
The Ladue district is looking for ways to increase the security and safety at all of its district buildings, by improving the following:
- Fence building perimeters
- Create one way in and out of buildings
- Hire more resource officers and train secondary officers
- Do a better job of identifying young people with mental illnesses
- Install hallway security gates
- Put numbers on inside doors
- Create police sub stations in the schools
Chief Wooten said the sub station idea might work.
Wooten, who has been in law enforcement for 28 years, 3 1/2 with Ladue says sub stations are typically in high crime areas like stores and super markets.
Board member Stacy Washington dealt with various aspects of the report.
"As a parent and a board member, we know where we are, but now we need to know where we are going (with safety)," she said. "Our current budgets are probably not friendly in the area of having resource officers at all of our schools. I like the idea of establishing sub-stations at each school," said Washington.
By this, the district would dedicate office space where officers from local police departments could drop by from time to time to do work, and create an overall presence at those buildings.
"There are a number of things we can do to be smarter when it comes to school safety," said Washington.