January City Council Update/School Security Update

Happy New Year! Here is your update for January. I’ve pasted a few noteworthy items below. Results of the December meeting can be found here. Additionally, here are a couple of quick notes of interest:

  • This month, the third of four approved water/sewer rate increases will take effect. I am convinced that these excessive increases could have been avoided (read why here).
  • I am continuing my push for increased school security measures. Contrary to what the public has been told (see here) and to the May 2013 recommendation of our chief of police for four SROs, to date, there is only one SRO or officer of any kind assigned to our entire school system. Though my attempt to fund additional SROs in our December meeting was not supported by council,  the recent string of incidents (see here, here and here) compelled me to request that the item be added to our January agenda. See the email string copied at the end of this message for insight into my communications with the city manager on the subject.

As always, I welcome your questions and feedback. Feel free to share these updates with anyone who may be interested in staying abreast of city issues.

Regards,

Trina Baughn

January 13, 2014 Oak ridge City council Regular meeting – significant items, please consult the agenda packet for comprehensive details

VI. SPECIAL REPORTS

A. FY2013 Independent City Audit Report

B. Updated Debt Obligation Report (For Lease Purchase of Two Fire Trucks for $964,291)

VII. CONSENT AGENDA

  1. Bid award of $141,080 to Stuart C. Irby Co. for (4) Intellirupter Pulsecloser devices
  2. Grant application from TDEC for Clean Entergy Program (HVAC at Central Services Complex) for $250K with 60% required local match if awarded

VIII. RESOLUTIONS

  1. Resolution amendment to extend abatement period for Protmet Phase II Equipment Lease. (See approval of original amendment here.)
  2. Resolution dissolving the Highland View Redevelopment Advisory Board
  3. MOU between the city and schools regarding the operation and installation of a fiber optic network.
  4. Resolution authorizing the hiring of (1) additional School Resource Officer

—– Original Message —–

From: trina.baughn@gmail.com
To: MWatson@oakridgetn.gov,ccouncil@oakridgetn.gov,jakagi@oakridgetn.gov
Sent:Thu Dec 19 12:03:17 UTC 2013
Subject: RE: Raids Online Link/ORPD School Calls

Mark,

I understand from our conversation today that your statement to council last week (that we do not need additional SROs) was not an accurate reflection of your beliefs. Rather, you do agree with Chief Akagi’s position that one is needed at each middle school and two are needed at the high school.

Because you projected that we would not have an additional SRO (beyond the lone one at the high school) before August 2014 and your recommendation is to phase one in per year through 2016, I asked that you include an item on the January 13th regular agenda that would authorize you to increase FTEs within the police department by 2 SROs. To be clear, this resolution would not require an increase in the existing budget, but would give you the ability to pull the necessary funding ($120K) from elsewhere in the budget. Furthermore, the wording of this resolution should give you authorization to recruit to fill these positions immediately. While I understand that you do not believe that enough council members would support increasing SROs at this time, the matter needs to be brought to us for us to decide publicly.

While I am relieved that today’s incidents and the Dec 5th incident did not result in anyone being harmed, your comments to me regarding the exposed weaknesses within school policies must be addressed. The fact that, prior to their arrival at the school, our officers believed that there was the possibility that a child was holding the principal at gunpoint is deeply disturbing. Furthermore, we still do not know how much of a time lapse there was between the time that the student reported seeing the gun (to school staff) and the time that the secretary called the ORPD. I’ve heard reports that the student saw the gun on the bus the day prior. Does this explain why the RAIDs report shows the incident as occurring on Dec 4th and not Dec 5th (see below)? As I understand it, no one knew before the police arrived on scene that the gun in question was not an actual firearm.

The city and the schools MUST address the safety and security matters of our students TOGETHER. A holistic approach is necessary. It is obvious that even though we conducted a risk assessment at RMS, it was, in and of itself, insufficient. We need to complete the assessment of ALL of our schools and physical vulnerabilities must be identified IN CONJUNCTION with policy and procedure vulnerabilities. I would like to call for a special meeting in early January to specifically discuss these matters. I have copied my fellow councilmembers and ask that one of you support my request as the charter requires that two council members can call for a special meeting. Once we establish that we will hold the meeting, we should invite the school board and their staff to join us.

As many of you know, my interest in community government began with a desire to protect our children. NOTHING is more important to me than their safety. I ask that each of you set aside the bureaucratic excuses and join me in taking the necessary steps towards securing our schools without further delay.

Regards,

Trina

From: Trina Baughn [mailto:trina.baughn@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:33 PM
To: ‘Watson, Mark’
Subject: RE: Raids Online Link/ORPD School Calls

Thanks, Mark. This is a very useful tool and I think I’ve got it figured out except for coding. A key for Location Type and Crime fields would be helpful.

I pulled the entire call list for the high school and both middle schools starting with the first day of this school year. A total of 25 calls come up which include 8 assaults and 3 disorderly conduct cases. No reference to drug activity. Does this mean that we’ve had zero reported drug incidents since the start of school?

The Dec 5th BB Gun incident does not show up. Does this indicate a delay in inputting the data? If so, how long is that delay. The press release indicated that aggravated assault charges were filed. Did the student make physical contact with someone?

I also pulled last year’s data. See below for a comparison. So far, the incident rate looks lower than last year. Didn’t you say that juvenile numbers were up since we are giving them more attention?

I’d like to see the data that led you to conclude that we did not need additional SROs.

Trina

Data extracted from raidsonline.com:

2013/14 YTD 2012/13 2013/14 YTD 2012/13 2013/14 YTD 2012/13 TOTAL

ORHS 1450 ORTP

RMS 245 Robertsville Rd

JMS 200 Fairbanks

Assault

4

9

2

4

2

21

Disorderly Conduct

2

10

1

13

Porn/Obscene

1

1

Drunkenness

1

1

2

Intimidation

1

1

Drugs

4

4

Arson

1

1

Other

11

32

3

1

1

48

91

From: Watson, Mark [mailto:MWatson@oakridgetn.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:19 AM
To: Trina Baughn (trina.baughn@gmail.com)
Subject: FW: Raids Online Link

Please find the attached link to the on-line program for Police calls for service and crime activity.   After you have viewed, if you would like me to arrange our crime analyst to give you a call on easy use of it let me know.

Mark Watson

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