Two Avoyelles high schools lose School Resource Officers
UPDATE: On January 16, the Marksville Police Department reached out to News Channel 5 in regards to the recent SRO situation at Marksville High School.
"I, Chief Elster Smith, was contacted by Principal Ms. Liza Jacobs and asked about providing off duty officers at Marksville High School. Ms. Jacobs stated that the Sheriff's office had removed the SRO from the school due to manpower shortage. Being concern of the safety of the students and school personnel, the mayor, council and myself agreed to proved off-duty officers at Marskville High School."
The Avoyelles Parish School Board is thanking local agents for stepping up after losing school resource officers at Marksville and Avoyelles High School.
After speaking with Avoyelles Parish Sheriff Doug Anderson, we learned one school resource officer resigned and one was moved to a different duty.
Anderson also added that the department is currently working to hire resource officers to replace them.
In the meantime, the school board said there will be a Marksville police officer in Marksville High School every day and a Moreauville officer in Avoyelles High School daily.
While Avoyelles Parish School Board Superintendent Blaine Dauzat is grateful for the agencies, he explained that having a resource officer in schools is for more than just protection.
“So, a resource officer’s job is more than what people think of,” Dauzat said. “They're not just there for security. I think the safety of our kids comes first. That's their main job but they're also there to be someone for the kids to talk to. Maybe they don't trust the teacher, maybe they don't trust another kid, maybe they don't trust the principal, we want them to learn to trust the badge. We want them to have good relationships and build a bridge between our officers and our citizens. So, they're trained to do more than that."
We also reached out to both police departments. Moreauville Police Department said making sure kids are safe after and during school is important to them. Marksville's Chief of Police, Elster Smith, declined to speak.