SCSO and MPD address school security misunderstanding - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

SCSO and MPD address school security misunderstanding

(WMC-TV) - The Shelby County Sheriff's Office and Memphis Police Department say there may have been a misunderstanding when it comes to kids' safety at school.

A joint news conference was held Friday afternoon to clear up concerns.

"We want to make sure the public understands we're not going to sacrifice the safety of the kids," said Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham.

That is the primary message concerning school security for the newly unified district.

"There were some assumptions that were made that should not have been made, some talks that should have been had," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong. "That did not take place."

The security concerns arose after MPD was informed by SCSO that it may not be prepared to cover all schools within the city.

Memphis Chief Administrative Officer George Little sent a memo to the superintendent Friday reiterating that the city was assured that post consolidation security would be covered by the county via the sheriff's office.

"We did not budget to provide the level of security services and support for the schools because we were told, quite frankly, it wasn't needed," said Little.

MPD now plans to remain in city schools through the end of the calendar year and pending, it appears, on a new agreement with the county.

"There's no way to pull something this massive off without a couple of hiccups and that's exactly what this is," added Armstrong.

The county currently has 43 officers working schools, as well as its ready response team.

MPD has 25 school officers in addition to the district's own security force.

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