Forrest County School District swears in first police officers

By DAVID TISDALE,

A designated security resource officer will be assigned to each of the six campuses in the Forrest County School District (FCSD) through its new police force. 

the Feb. 6 meeting of the FCSD’s Board of Directors monthly regular meeting was the swearing of the district’s new officers and chief by FCSD Superintendent Brian Freeman, who said the district was able to identify a funding stream in its budget to have its own security force year-to-year. Previously, the district relied on off-duty Forrest County Sheriff reserve officers, or off-duty deputies. 

“No school is more important than the other,” in terms of providing safety throughout the district, Freeman said. 

The chief and new officers include: Chief Mike Riels, Chris Bolton, Chris Sargent, Shannon Mapp, Trey Rudder, and Wesley Harris.

It has been a goal of the district for several years to have its own force, Freeman said, emphasizing that it is “not for disciplining our students, but to provide for their safety” as well as for the faculty, administration and staff at each school.   

The FCSD police force will also provide security at district athletics and other extra-curricular events as needed.