TOPEKA (KSNT)- Topeka schools will soon see less of a police presence since a contract with the Topeka Police Department, and USD 501 has gone far beyond what the police department initially agreed to.
A contract that allocated four officers from the department would be at the schools to monitor student’s safety. They’ve since tripled that number, but the district is still only paying for the original four. Now the police department wants to pull three officers from the schools and place them back on the streets. A decision that’s worrying many at the school district.
“What if we don’t write tickets anymore, on the highway, how fast will people go?” Trembley said.
A question that Sergeant Steve Tremble, whose salary is paid by the school district will never have to answer, but he does have to answer to students.
“Here at Topeka High School we have over 1,700 kids, here at Topeka High, this is a city all by itself,” Trembley said.
He fears the worst with Topeka Police Department’s decision to pull four officers out of the schools by the next school year.
“The reality of it, there has been school shootings, and the reality is I believe we should have officers in the school, for the safety, and that’s my primary job,” Trembley said.
But Topeka Police Chief James Brown says it’s time to better protect the entire community.
“I gotta do better,I have to do better, I am duty bound to protect our citizens, our kids, the neighborhoods and a response time,” Brown said.
The police department’s decision stems from a contract between the school and the police.
“We have a contract to provide 4 officers, I was still going to leave 7 officers there,” Brown said.
From the districts point of view the decisions caught them by surprise.
“We’re really concerned about is in mid year in our budget stream, having them come to us and say we are taking more officers. “ Julie Ford, USD 501 Superintendent said.
Chief Brown also said all 10 officers currently in schools will remain there until the end of this school year.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.