Omaha Public School Board tackles school security issue; approving access cards for Omaha Police officers

Posted at 12:24 PM, Jul 18, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Saving minutes when every second matters, that's the goal of a new agreement between Omaha Public Schools (OPS) and the Omaha Police Department (OPD).

"This specific agreement that we have with the Omaha Police Department is going to allow all law enforcement officers who are first responders to respond when there is a crisis or life-saving emergency," said Lisa Utterback, chief officer of student and community services at OPS.

It's an agreement the school system has been working on for about a year and will give OPD officers a key card like district staff currently have.

"They are ready to support us with immediate badge access when, and if, there is an emergency," Utterback said.

Approval of this agreement makes it as easy as scanning the card to enter OPS schools and buildings — saving time compared to current access.

"Any time a law enforcement officer, or any individual, would need access to our building they are required to go through the main entrance and follow all of our processes and procedures," Utterback said.

The agreement lists specific use of the access cards, such as active shooter or threat situations, if a school resource officer needs backup, or an administrator has called 911.

"We also have tools in the school that you could push a button that would activate and emergency or crisis response," Utterback said.

OPS plans to have police officers with OPD ready to go for the new academic year on August 1.

Providing the cards is expected to cost less than $500.

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