West Memphis Police Increase Presence at Schools

West Memphis Police Increase Presence at Schools

Every school in West Memphis will soon have a police officer assigned to its campus.

According to the West Memphis Police Department, officers will soon be present at six elementary schools, three middle schools and the district’s high school. Officers were previously only present at two junior high schools and the high school.

Officers said they want students to have more interaction with police officers on a regular basis as part of the community policing approach. The move to add officers to campuses is also inspired by the increase in school shootings and violence nationwide.

The district hopes the officers’ presence will also help reduce the number of fights between students on-campus.

"We feel like if we can have the officers already in the schools, and the kids get used to seeing the officers in the schools, then maybe that can deter some of those fights that are going on on our campuses," said Tawana Bailey, Outreach Coordinator with the West Memphis Police Department.

The majority of crime taking place in Memphis is committed by people ages 23 and younger, according to officers. Bailey hopes that the resource officers on campus can provide kids with some kind of mentorship.

"We say, if you can catch a kid fifth grade and under, then you have the opportunity to change their life. So that's why we're going more toward the community-oriented policing style as well," Bailey said.

The funding for the extra officers will come from the partnership between the district and the police department, Bailey said.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.