New School Safety Officers to be trained for the 2023-2024 school year


Adwyta Chelikavada

Lafayette’s sign in and sign out system is called StudentPass and was implemented last year as an additional security measure. The new system adds more restrictions for parental dismissal and requires a pass or ID number to get in and out of the building.

Adwyta Chelikavada, News Staff

With safety in mind, Rockwood is expanding its protection for the district with a new plan of hiring four safety officers for the upcoming school year of 2023-2024. The four safety officers will be designated to each of the four quadrants in order to provide an extra set of eyes on the district, students, and events.

The idea of enhancing safety measures around the district has been a discussion among administrators over the past few years. With the ongoing violence throughout the country because of school shootings, Rockwood is aiming to provide a safe community.

Rockwood Safety Director Tyrone Dennis said the decision came about because of parents wanting more support.

“Safety is a top priority in Rockwood and we are always looking for ways to improve the safety of our schools, buildings, and campuses. Many parents and staff have asked for additional support and we feel it is the appropriate time to expand the safety coverage of our schools and bring security personnel on as Rockwood employees,” Dennis said.

The safety officers are in addition to the student resource officers (SROs) that are already at some of the schools in the district.

Though the two types of protection will only benefit students and staff in the district, there is a slight difference that sets them apart.

SROs are assigned to schools based on the municipality that the district has with them, while the safety officers are able to float around the schools and serve as coverage for the district. They will also have the flexibility to be assigned to other needed duties.

Overall, they will add the same protection to the district as SROs.

“They will add another layer of security for the district, providing additional safety coverage at our elementary schools; an area of concern where there have historically been gaps,” Dennis said.

This new plan aims to build on the protection of the district, and many people along with Lafayette’s  School Resource Officer Chad Deakin, agree with the proposal.

“It gives us an extra set of eyes and ears at the grade school level, which is needed so that everybody can have safety and security at every level of Rockwood,” Deakin said.

During the Board of Education Meeting that took place on March 16th, 2023, the motion was presented and voted on. All the board members voted yes on the plan, and the motion will carry.

The officers are scheduled to start July 1 and are to be trained and ready for the start of the new school year.