School Police Powers Expanded Under Bill
The Moore County Schools Police Department is now a full-fledged campus police agency.
A bill changing the designation from special police to campus police cleared the Senate Thursday, making the Moore County school system just the second public system in the state to make the move. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system was the first.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jamie Boles of Moore County, passed the House last month.
The school system pursued the change to give its school resource officers (SROs) jurisdiction over public roads and highways "passing through the property or immediately adjoining it, wherever located." Under the special police designation, officers lacked that authority and were confined to school property.
The law enables SROs to address traffic issues in front of the schools.
Chief Sammy McNeill said when he started with the school system, traffic wasn't a major problem. But as the population of the county has grown - and with seemingly fewer students riding the bus - it has become more of a concern.
McNeill said a couple of the biggest trouble spots for traffic in the district right now are Union Church Road in front of Union Pines High and New Century Middle and North Moore Road in front of North Moore High.
"Some of our schools, especially the ones we're having the worst problems with," he said, "we're going to try to help parents and kids get in and out of school safely."
School officials said there is no additional cost to the system for changing the designation.
Contact John Krahnert III by e-mail at email@example.com.
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