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County commissioner battles county sheriff’s officer over school resource officer

OKLAHOMA CITY - Police officers in schools is currently a hot button issue. Oklahoma City officials are battling with police over exactly how it will be accomplished.

"This is something that has to be addressed, it has to be addressed fast, everybody needs to get on the same page," said Larry Grant of the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office Fraternal Order of Police.

County police are talking about school resource officers.

In the last two months, the Oklahoma County sheriff department has submitted proposals for a new school resource officer for Choctaw-Nicoma Park and to renew the officer for Christ the King School in Oklahoma City. Both times, Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan voted against the proposals.

"Voting no is just not the thing to do," Grant said.

But, Maughan sees a different side of this issue. He said limited funds and officers are a huge concern, especially in light of the situation Sunday night at the county jail.

"Not that we wouldn't want to do it, and I'm 100 percent in favor of school protection. I'm worried about the DOJ coming in and taking over our jail because we don't allocate every possible resource to the problem," he said.

Maughan said, even though each school pays for its own resource officer, the deputy is still technically employed by the county. The county is still financially responsible for the deputy when it comes to other costs like gear, benefits and liability.

"I think it's time to work with law enforcement not against, I cannot believe there is not funding available to fund school resource officers," Grant said.

Maughan said it's not just the county that should be responsible, the city of Oklahoma City could also be applying for grants for officers.

"I am concerned about students being protected, I just think there are other people that could step up and do it, Chief Bill Citty has told me that they have officers and they would like to do it," he said.

County Sheriff's FOP officers maintain something has to be done to protect all students.

"When it comes to protecting children, it's gotta be a number one priority. Anytime that kids are put in harms way, that's just wrong, and we have to make sure that doesn't happen," Grant said.