Reece: City, schools to look into adding officers

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mayor Charles Reece would like to have more school resource officers in the Green Forest School District.

At the Green Forest City Council’s meeting on Monday, Reece said he has been in discussion with Police Chief John Bailey and Superintendent Matt Summers about school security.

“We currently have two SROs at the school,” Reece said. “They’re trying to figure out if they want to arm teachers or have police officers. My preference would be to have police officers because they’re trained. I have suggested to the chief and superintendent that we look at having police officers down there.”

He said the city and school will review the possibility of adding one or two additional SROs so the school district can have one at each school.

The Green Forest School Board had decided at its February meeting to research three options for school safety: nonlethal weapons, additional SROs and a security force composed of staff members serving as registered commissioned security guards.

Summers will be returning with more information on the options at the board’s March meeting.

Also at the council meeting, the council voted to approve contributing $9,500 to finance the six chutes needed for the Green Forest Lions Club Rodeo.

Public works director Buddy Fry said the Green Forest Lions Club currently rents the rodeo out from the city and has been paying $1,500 annually to rent portable chutes. The Lions Club has paid $3,500 for the chutes so far, he said, and needs about $9,500 to finish paying them off.

“It will save us money on piping running to the chutes from the corrals where you have the bulls and horses,” Fry said.

Alderwoman Willa Kerby asked how long the chutes will last.

“They should last a very long time,” Fry said.

“So in eight years the city will own them,” Kerby said, “and the Lions Club won’t have to pay $1,500 every year. They can use that for scholarships.”

With the $1,500 freed up, Fry said the Lions Club would be able to double the scholarships it awards to local students.

Also at the meeting, Lisa Price-Backs read an open letter addressing the $18 Ozark Mountain Solid Waste District fee for Carroll County property owners and urged local officials to pass resolutions expressing disapproval of the fee.

The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 10, at City Hall.

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