Bishop Miege High School students or parents wanting to anonymously report incidents now have a hotline number they can call or text. The voice mailbox is forwarded to the school’s resource officer and two assistant principals.
“It’s a good tool for them to use if they are concerned about their safety,” Roeland Park Police Department chief John Morris said.
More and more schools are deploying such tactics to improve school safety. The Shawnee Mission School District, for example, uses a web-based reporting tool to accomplish the same objective, giving members of the school community a way to alert authorities to a range of concerning behavior, from safety threats, bullying, harassment, intimidation or potential self harm.
The hotline is one of the school’s safety initiatives being promoted by the Roeland Park Police Department and its School Resource Officer Cliff Chaffee. Roeland Park and Bishop Miege entered an agreement last summer that placed a student resource officer from the city’s police department on site.
The school is also considering installing vaping detectors to help curb the use of e-cigarettes and noise detectors that could alert officials of yelling or screaming.
When triggered the detectors notify the school resource officer and other officials via text.
Roeland Park Mayor Mike Kelly commended the RPPD with the quick implementation of the SRO program and success of Officer Chaffee.
“[We] get only positive reports of how he is helping that community,” Kelly said.
Roeland Park approved the SRO contract last July. The cost of the full-time position, about $72,000 a year, is covered by Bishop Miege.