Courtesy Photo | Bossier High's SRO Josh Cagle interacts with students on campus.

The Bossier Parish School Board has approved the addition of five School Resource Officers.

While the additional SROs will be primarily helpful at high schools where there are more students and the campuses are more spread out, it will also give Bossier Schools the latitude to use the resource officers where needed.

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington has also committed to assigning a full-time deputy to Bossier Schools next year, at the expense of the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, to assist with student transports as needed for mental health commitments and to juvenile facilities. This will enable SROs to remain on campus throughout the school day and not leave it unattended.

SROs are a visible law enforcement presence on campus to deter, prevent and respond to crime, working closely with administrators on law-related matters, assisting with school safety needs and serving as vital links to other emergency personnel during critical incidents. The SRO program was recently featured on an episode of Louisiana Public Square, titled ‘Making Schools Safe.’

Bossier Schools Superintendent Scott Smith said additional officers are a “great safety net” for the school system and a potential model for the state and nation to follow.

“With the incident in Parkland [Florida], we know how many cracks that student fell through,” Smith said. “These things have to be taken seriously and we just can’t let this type of thing go. Our school board is very proactive and the committee took a stand tonight to ensure we have the best policies, procedures and personnel in place to be able to protect our students.”

Read more about the school board’s vote in the BPT’s April 11 print edition.