Security Concerns for Shelby County Schools

Security Concerns for Shelby County Schools

Keeping 150,000 students safe at the Unified School District is top priority of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
MEMPHIS, TN-- Keeping 150,000 students safe at the Unified School District is top priority of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. But security is now in the spot light, just another set back after the first historical week of school. The Shelby County Sheriff's Office was supposed to take over security from the MPD but there are jurisdiction and other security problems coming up now. Deputies and officers held a press conference Friday afternoon to put parents concerns at ease. They say they're more than ready to protect everyone in the unified school district. Parents are mixed about the slow progress.

"I'm giving them hope because it takes a little time for everything but you got to pray on it," said a grandparent Cassandra Watson.

"I'll be a little worried because there are a lot of fights and everything going on in the schools," said a Memphis parent Dominique Royal.

That's why the county and city put on this joint press conference Friday afternoon.

"We're out there. Memphis police is out there. We are working together," said Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham.

Before the merger began MPD agreed to keep the same officers as last year: 25 officers at 14 different schools at least for one semester.

"No way in the world we could have pulled something as massive as this without a couple of hiccups in the road," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.

So what's the problem? It's not money or not enough officers. The issue is jurisdiction.

"This is now county property. Does the city have that jurisdiction? In the other municipalities they have responded. The Memphis Police Department will research their policy and they will make suggestion in this process and we'll work through that," said Sheriff Oldham.

That's something parents don't really care about just the safety of their kids while they're at school.

"I think they're going to do a good job," said Watson.

After the first semester it is uncertain if MPD will stick around but one thing the Shelby county Sheriff wanted to make clear: both agencies will be readily available if there are any issues at city or county schools.
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