OKLAHOMA CO., Okla. - A local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police is calling out an Oklahoma County Commissioner after he voted to not renew a contract for school resource officers.
County Commissioner Brian Maughan said he is feeling the pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice to shift the staffing of deputies inside schools to working inside the jail.
“We wanted to express a strong statement of our discontent,” 3rd VP of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 155 Todd Beesley said.
Deputy Todd Beesley is one of 20 school resource officers in Oklahoma County.
It’s a position he said is critical to students’ safety.
“You never know where something may happen,” Beesley said. “We make a difference in those schools.”
The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 155 released a letter addressed to County Commissioner Brian Maughan giving him a vote of 'no confidence.'
Maughan remains consistent in his opinion voting 'no' when it comes time to renew the school resource officers’ contracts.
“Taking 20 resource officers out of the schools who are protecting the children and moving them to the jail is not going to fix the problems of the jail,” Beesley said.
“These are not inner-city schools and crime-ridden schools that some people think they are placed in,” County Commissioner District 2 Brian Maughan said.
The county commissioner called the letter a disappointment.
“I've been voting “no” for years, so it's surprising that all of a sudden it has become an issue,” Maughan said.
Maughan attributed his “no” vote to the U.S. Department of Justice who is pushing to move priority staffing to the county jail.
“You want to talk about public safety?” Maughan said. “Just the other day we had someone break out of the jail and walk down the street. How did that happen?”
“I also don't think these parents wouldn't like the idea of Hannibal Lecter getting out of jail and just walking down the street,” Maughan said.
Beesley is left worried his work environment could look wildly different.
“You work your way up,” Beesley said. “You set your goals and you work your way up. It wouldn't go over real well.”
“They tell me oh, I don't want to work inside the jail,” Maughan said. “I think that’s a big reflection on their department.”
Commissioner Maughan hopes to see the Oklahoma City Police Department or a private firm take over the possible school resource officer vacancies since they have more man power.