The Atlanta school district has sworn in a chief of police and 67 certified officers as members of a newly created department that will be responsible for the safety and security of the system's 50,000 students and 5,000 employees.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the newly created force will replace city police officers who provided security under a contract with the district.
In addition to traditional law enforcement training, the school district police officers will receive special training on how to work effectively with children and in school environments.
"The new police force will not only have the crucial training and skills in police work and emergency management, but also adapt those abilities in an educational environment," Atlanta School Superintendent Maria Carstarphen wrote on her blog. "These officers needed to go above and beyond providing safety and security but also serve as role models, mentors and caregivers as they worked their shift."
The officers will be assigned to Atlanta middle and high schools as resource officers.
"These men and women will be trained in positive behavior support interventions and other student-centered services such as social emotional learning and conflict resolution consistency," Carstarphen says.
Ronald Applin, a former captain in the Fulton County, Ga., Sheriff’s Department, will serve as the district’s police chief.
Most other school systems in the Atlanta area already have their own police departments.
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