Willard School District establishes Willard Schools Police Department
October 29, 2020 News Release--
Willard School District establishes Willard Schools Police Department (WSPD)
To keep students safe across three different police jurisdictions, including Willard PD, Springfield PD, and Greene County Sheriff's Department, the District has been approved to establish the Willard Schools Police Department.
In 2019, Willard Schools School Resource officers began exploring the possibility of forming its own police department in order for officers to do their job effectively and lawfully at each building, no matter their location in the District. The unique landscape of Willard School buildings located in the City of Willard, City of Springfield, and Greene County, made it difficult for officers, formerly commissioned only by the Willard Police Department, to handle simple situations without calling for backup simply out of jurisdictional necessity.
Thanks to our strong partnerships with all three departments, the day-to-day actions of our SROs will change very little, but will become more operationally effective behind the scenes. For our students, this means more time to focus on their needs with less interruption.
Willard Schools is now the third PreK-12 institution in Missouri to successfully have their own District police force. “The need to be more efficient in our school policing was evident,” School Resource Officer Mark Riggin shares, “having our own police department will allow us to focus on caring for our student's unique needs.”
At the Willard R-II School District, student safety is paramount. Reports of bullying are, and have always been, taken seriously and investigated. If you have knowledge of a bullying situation you are encouraged to promptly report such incident to a school employee, including specifically the Assistant Superintendent or Building Principal.