“We hope to enhance the security of the areas immediately surrounding the substation sites through our added visibility there, increase the presence of CCSO in the community-at-large, and facilitate more interaction between deputies and citizens and their children,” says Sheriff Kem Kimbrough.
The program will be tested at: Northcutt Elementary/North Clayton Middle School (Hwy 314 at Norman Drive, College Park); Harper Elementary/Sequoyah Middle School (Valley Hill Road, Riverdale); East Clayton Elementary (Ellenwood Road at I-675, Ellenwood); and Lovejoy High School (McDonough Road, Lovejoy).
Initially, substations will be open only Monday thru Friday for eight hours a day with posted hours of operation. The pilot program will begin within 30 days and if successful, four additional substations will open.
But not everyone sees this program positively. Some refer to this as a “school to prison pipeline”, and believe this union could hurt our kids more than help.
“We hope that the increased law enforcement presence in [CCPS] does not result in the violation of students’ rights,” says Chara Fisher Jackson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Georgia. “There should be a distinction between disciplinary misconduct to be addressed by the school and incidents that involve real and immediate threats to public safety that may be better addressed by criminal justice officials.” Jackson hopes that CCPS will consider adopting a formal memorandum of understanding between the parties to promote respect and emphasize students’ rights.
“The health of the majority of the community is my main concern, especially our children. These substations will increase our ability to protect those we are charged with protecting; if that means more people go to prison, most reasonable citizens will support that,” adds the Sheriff. “Any characterization of this program as an attempt to incarcerate innocent children demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of not only law enforcement activities, but also a lack of understanding of the aims of the program.”
Our Board of Education is asking residents to help provide for three needy families this holiday season. Each BOE member will donate $20 to the cause, and are asking citizens to contribute by dropping non-perishable items into a box at the front of the board room. There will be three opportunities to donate: October 25, November 1, and November 15. Donations will be presented at the December 6 BOE meeting to the CCPS Director for Homeless Families.