WPSB addresses school security

Security at each Webster Parish school campus is being addressed in meetings with law enforcement leaders and parish school board members will be kept abreast of the progress, according to parish Superintendent of Schools Johnny Rowland.

“We have met with the Sheriff and we plan to talk with all the chiefs of police in each town in the parish about increasing school-based security presence,” Rowland told board members Monday. “We had a good meeting with Chief (Steve) Cropper and he knows how passionate and serious we are about security.”

Webster Parish currently has school resource officers at most parish schools, but Rowland said the goal is to place officers on every campus.  

“We’re talking about one post certified officer per school,” he said. 

Funds to pay officers come from each school’s maintenance fund, Rowland said.

During Monday’s meeting, board members voted unanimously to grant pay raises with money from local funds to parish school personnel. Certified personnel will receive a $500 hike while noncertified will see an increase of $250.

And, board members approved a number of expenditures for school projects from maintenance funds and sales tax funds. Included in those expenditures were $12,320 for an HVAC unit in the Agri Science building at Lakeside Jr./Sr. High; four SMART Boards at $3,759 each (plus installation) at J.L. Jones Elementary and two Elmo Document Cameras for use with the boards.

Also, a color LED sign for Phillips Elementary at a cost of $9,940; a $45,135 change order for the new multipurpose building at Minden High; $16,020 for a five-ton VRV heat pump split system in the North Webster Jr. High art room; and $5,500 for a video management server in the School Resource Officer office at North Webster Jr. High.