Extra Security at Portage Schools Rejected in Confusing Saga - NBC Chicago

Extra Security at Portage Schools Rejected in Confusing Saga

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    Extra Security at Portage Schools Rejected in Confusing Saga

    Extra school resource officers offered to several Indiana schools were rejected by the district's head--but the town's top cop says he'll send them anyway. Dick Johnson reports. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018)

    Extra school resource officers offered to several Indiana schools were rejected by the district's head--but the town's top cop says he'll send them anyway.

    It’s a school security saga involving the Portage police chief, the school superintendent and the mayor--who’s awaiting trial on unrelated federal charges.

    It’s confusing, contentious and arguably political. What matters is, are the students safe? The superintendent says yes. The school board already approved a new comprehensive safety plan using more armed officers rotating from all of the area’s law enforcement agencies as school resource officers.

    “We have a lot of students who don’t reside in Portage," Portage Township Schools Supt. Amanda Alaniz said. "The value of that is that there are officers from their own hometowns."

    But with the Noblesville, Indiana school shooting in May, Chief Troy Williams, who’s a former school resource officer himself, says the mayor told him to add two more officers to Portage schools.

    “I said we want to give you two officers at no charge to the schools," he said of a conversation with Alaniz, who declined the offer. "We’re going to send two officers anyway."

    "Every school in Indiana hardened their schools (after Noblesville) that’s what’s right,” Mayor James Snyder said.

    Parents call the situation "ridiculous."

    School board member Jessica Bailey says she’s comfortable with the safety plan in place.

    But—the chief still intends to have two more of his officers show up every day.

    “We are committed to protecting the schools and if they’re not going to take them in the building then they will be parked outside," he said.

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