MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – All of Midwest City’s elementary schools will now have police officers assigned to stop by the schools periodically throughout the day during the school year.
When Officer Charles Denson with the Midwest City Police Department isn’t fighting crime and locking up criminals, part of his day is now spent in the hallways and classrooms of Ridgecrest Elementary.
"Kids love us. I'm making myself open to them; they like us being here," Denson said.
Midwest City PD has had school resource officers at the high schools and off-duty officers at the middle schools but no one at the elementary schools until now.
"I have police officers phone number that, if I had a need, I would give them a call. I would definitely make them aware of things that are coming our way," said Donna Collier, principal of Ridgecrest Elementary.
That was her old plan of action, but Collier said now having officers assigned to their school, with a key to get right in and move fast if the worst-case-scenario were to ever happen, eases some of the “what if” worry.
"It brings security. It brings hope. It brings the opportunity for our officers to get to know our students,” she said.
It’s not only at Ridgecrest, but every elementary school in Midwest City now has three officers assigned to periodically stop by the school every day.
"What it does is not only reduce the fear that the parents have when they're going to the school, but also making ourselves visible and let those know that have those intentions that we are here," Denson said.
Denson said, on top of that, it’s also about forming relationships, as well.
"Kids are human beings, as well. They may not always be the happiest. So, just getting there, getting on the knee, talking to them, understanding what they're going through and letting them know, hey, it's not the end of the day. Things can change from this situation and get a lot better,” he said.
Officials with Midwest City PD said all of their officers also have a key card to get into each of the schools in case an emergency were to ever happen.