Overland Park police chief will become first director of safety and security for Shawnee Mission schools

John Douglass will retire from the Overland Park police department and takeover security for the Shawnee Mission district.
John Douglass will retire from the Overland Park police department and takeover security for the Shawnee Mission district.
One of the Johnson County law enforcement officers who played a crucial role in the “In Defense of Our Schools” security assessment that came in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings has a new role: head of safety for the Shawnee Mission School District.

Overland Park announced yesterday that John Douglass, its police chief and a member of the department for 41 years, will retire in April and become director of safety and security for the school district. The Shawnee Mission School board is expected to approve Douglass’s appointment to the newly created position Jan. 27.

“School safety is more important than ever and we are pleased to have Chief Douglass, who has a wealth of experience and familiarity with our schools and community, join us to lead our district police force and safety and security efforts,” said Superintendent Jim Hinson in a statement.

In Defense of Our Schools brought together police departments and sheriff’s officials from across the county to thoroughly examine measures to improve area school safety. The task force released an extensive report in August 2013.

Douglass has been police chief since March 1996, having served in an interim role starting in December 1995.

He will begin his duties in the new role this spring. As of press time, Douglass’s proposed salary for the new position was not known.