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New proposal calls for stationing highway patrol officers at rural ND schools

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FARGO—As threats of violence in schools become more common across North Dakota, the state's superintendent says she is committed to improving security.

In the metro, schools have a variety of safety features; locked doors, cameras everywhere, and student resource officers.

A new plan proposed at the state level aims to beef up rural school security as well.

Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says she's working with the highway patrol to see if troopers can have a presence in some rural districts.

She explains highway patrol troopers spend much of their time doing paperwork in their vehicles.

Baesler is proposing schools offer office space, and troopers offer a peace officer presence to deter potential problems.

"It's a win-win for everyone. Having the opportunity to interact with a highway patrol person and just the presence of a patrol vehicle in the parking lot, it may thwart what would have been a day of disaster," Baesler said.

Baesler did clarify those troopers wouldn't take on all of the same responsibility as licensed Student Resource Officers, but is confident in the plan.