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Security tops board meeting; new plan in place to triple armed security

After a long discussion, the Mustang Board of Education voted to increase armed security around the district at Monday’s regular meeting. MPS currently has two school resource officers (SROs) on the south side of the district through the Mustang Police Department and two Canadian County Sheriff’s deputies on the north side. 

Charles Bradley, deputy superintendent, presented three options to the board. A modified version of the second option was chosen which adds a third CCSO deputy, plus six additional security personnel from a third party private security group. The board compromised after a request by Board President Chad Fulton, and in addition to the third deputy and private security officers, the motion ordered the district to add its own head of security to work with all three agencies and provide a point of contact and someone to coordinate coverage. 


“This brings our number of armed, CLEET certified individuals from four to 12,” Bradley said. 

MPS is already spending around $370,000 annually for security expenses which includes the SROs. Mustang has agreements with both MPD and CCSO and pays a portion, but not all, of the officers’ salaries. The total for the modified option adopted at the meeting will be around $550,000, according to Nancy McKay, CFO, a difference of less than $200,000 to triple the armed security for Mustang campuses. 

Bradley was pleased with the result of the discussion. 

“It’s a blessing to work in a district where it is obvious that the board members operate by the guiding question of ‘what’s best for the kids?’ This is not a “yes” board that rubber stamps whatever is brought to them. They had an honest, open debate where they disagreed on some points but remained congenial and focused on the kids. In the end, they modified an option we suggested and came up with a solution.” 

The board voted unanimously to approve the new plan which will be in place for the 2018-2019 school year. Although they were not officially hired at last night’s meeting, the board had an opportunity to question Dan Herd with OMEGA Security Solutions, Inc., The agency employs only retired federal officers as armed security for schools. 

“This is the next step, not the last one,” Bradley said. “Mustang Schools has had four resource officers for several years. Riverwood Elementary and Meadow Brook Intermediate will open in August. A third middle school will open for the 2019-2020 school year. It was time enter the next phase of security for the district. And this won’t be the last time the issue comes up. Security will continue to be a regular conversation and agenda item as we make adjustments as needed.” 

Before presenting the options for increasing armed security, Bradley presented the board with steps the district has taken or is considering to increase security in other ways. MPS has a Safety Consortium, which meets monthly with representatives from the MPD, CCSO and Oklahoma City Police, as well as the Mustang Fire Department, Oklahoma City Fire Department and the School Security Institute, which is part of Homeland Security. At Mustang High School in particular, all exterior entrances have been numbered so first responders know exactly which door to enter. Plans are in place to add keyless access card readers for staff members to Mustang Education Center, Mustang Middle School and Mustang North Middle School during the upcoming year. Currently, Mustang High School, Horizon Intermediate, Canyon Ridge Intermediate, Prairie View Elementary, Riverwood Elementary and Meadow Brook Intermediate have card readers. Bradley said a plan will be created this year to phase the card readers in at the elementary schools as well. 

The district is also looking at other measures of security, some as simple as a “rock propping” policy for both students and employees. Controlling access to buildings is vital to security. The proposed policy would impose penalties on students and employees who prop open an exterior door that needs to remain locked. The district is also evaluating the feasibility and cost of installing a bullet-proof film on school entry windows and interior door-securing devices that add another layer of protection beyond the lock itself. 

Mustang Education Center will also be getting a significant security upgade. 

“MEC, which houses our alternative education program for grades 9-12 and a portion of our pre-kindergarten program is the only school without a secure entry vestibule,” he said. “Funds are available and a plan is in place to reconfigure the front entrance to the school to add a secure entry-way.

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