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New Orleans: School security calls for police presence/"mental health providers at all 55 schools"

July 24, 2018, New Orleans Advocate: St. Tammany Sheriff's Office set to staff 25 schools with resource officers An ambitious plan to provide a school resource officer at each of St. Tammany Parish's 55 public schools by Aug. 9 is mostly on track, with Sheriff Randy Smith announcing Tuesday that his agency will provide 25 of the officers. All eight of the system's high schools and six of the 12 junior highs already have resource officers assigned to them, but the officers will be a new addition to elementary and middle schools. … The move follows the school system's recent decision to pay for police officers and mental health specialists in each of the parish's public schools, a response in part to the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February…. School system officials estimated the cost of the extra officers at $4 million and said that it would be covered initially with FEMA money and the school system's share of the BP oil spill settlement. A permanent funding source has not been determined…. The committee, which included law enforcement personnel, medical professionals, school leaders and parents, recommended police and mental health specialists be placed in each school to help thwart potential crises, and the parish School Board agreed with the plan. Schools spokeswoman Meredith Mendez said the system expects to have mental health providers at all 55 schools by the start of the school year. …

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