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Metro Police Increase Presence For Back-To-School

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Thursday was the first day back to school for students around the Metro, and police want drivers to be safe around school zones. Thursday was the first day back to school for students around the Metro, and police want drivers to be safe around school zones.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

BY JESSI MITCHELL, NEWS 9

Thursday was the first day back to school for students around the Metro, and police want drivers to be safe around school zones.

Police in Yukon, Mustang and El Reno told News 9 they increased patrols during school zone hours Thursday, but in Norman officers are all hands on deck throughout the first days of class.

“We have almost 50 police officers participating…whether that’s out in the streets in patrol or actually assigned to each individual school,” said Lt. Chad Vincent, Norman Police Department Supervisor of the new Student Resource Officer Program.

When the officers are elsewhere, though, neighbors living near Cleveland Elementary School have taken matters into their own hands, saying they see drivers speeding down Iowa Street and running stop signs constantly.

“When they run it we scream, so that’s it. It’s just dangerous and it’s also annoying,” said Shirley Kaplan.

Kaplan and her neighbors told News 9 a speed bump like the ones on adjacent streets would be ideal. That way drivers would have to slow down at all times, not just when there is a police presence.

“Obviously when these cars are coming up and down the street and they see a police car, their first reaction is whoa! So that’s not working,” said Kaplan.

Norman schools will have Student Resource Officers for the first time this year, adding a constant presence throughout the district. Each high school will have two assigned officers and one will patrol the middle schools during classes.

With students out and about, on top of all the construction happening in Norman right now, police assure citizens that it is only a matter of time before drivers get used to slowing down again.

“We’re getting into the new pattern. We have a significant number of students that are getting on buses, getting off buses. They’re walking. They’re riding their bikes. We really like to encourage the public just to remember to be extra aware,” said Vincent.

By Friday, most schools in the central Oklahoma area will be back in session.

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