Cops on campus: West Monroe Police to open substation at WMHS

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WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - West Monroe High School is getting an extra level of security. West Monroe Police Department will soon have a permanent location on the school's campus. Police Chief Jeff Terrell says they are always looking for ways to improve student safety.

West Monroe High School to have a permanent police presence.

"It'll be added police presence here at the high school," he said. "There are about 2300 hundred kids here at West Monroe High School, so you can never have too many police officers."

Terrell said the school already has a school resource officer through WMPD. He said there is also an Ouachita Parish deputy on campus.

"So, just knowing that first responders are here, provides parents and the neighborhood peace of mind," he said.

Students say it is a step in the right direction. "It makes me feel safe. I feel like if somebody starts shooting, I feel like they'd be on top of that," one 12th grader said.

The substation will be on the first wing of the building. Terrell says they are hoping their presence can deter crime in the area.

"People are less likely to commit acts of violence whenever they have police officers here," he said.

Terrell says maintaining and funding the substation will be a 50-50 agreement between the police department and the school board.

He said the community has been helping by "Donating carpet and other items. We've had a microwave donated. We've had a refrigerator donated."

Terrell says the substation could also build the student-officer relationship, which he says is much needed.

"We're here to help them. We're here to protect [the students]. And if they have any issues they can come talk to us," he said.

The agreement still needs to be approved by the school board.