EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Less than a week after two women were shot near Istrouma High School during a spring football game, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul says the solution to violence in and around area schools is clear.
"One of the things I would like to see is I would like to have a police officer in every school," said Paul.
While his comments were not directed at any particular incident, Paul believes more officers are needed to improve how law enforcement responds to incident in the school district. "We're going to be looking at some creative ways and some partnerships on that and not just that, but the training as it relates to our response to these schools," Paul added.
According to a spokesperson, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System has roughly 50 school resource officers to cover the 79 schools in the district. As school shootings and threats continue to play out across the country, Paul says they need to be proactive in the parish to answer anything that could come to Baton Rouge. It's a responsibility the chief says he has already spoken with the sheriff and superintendent about. The only thing to address now, he says, is how to pay for it.
"Intervention could save a life," Paul added. "We are obviously in the planning stages of next year's budget and we're going to be working with the school system and the sheriff to see how we can make that possible."
EBR Superintendent Warren Drake says he does not want to go into specifics because the idea is still in its early stages, but he did express his desire to make safety a priority in a statement to WAFB.
"As both the superintendent of the East Baton Rouge School System and a parent, the safety and security of all students and faculty are my highest priorities," the statement reads.
Based on conversations though, the chief says an officer in every school is something the superintendent strongly supports.
"The superintendent, he said that," Paul added. "He said, 'I want a police officer in every school.' How can we make that possible?"
The idea is still just a concept for now, but it's something that could soon become a reality.