Moore police receive support, backlash after substituting in schools

MOORE, Okla. — Just days after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt authorized state employees to substitute in classrooms, police officers in Moore are stepping up to help.

However, the officers who substituted in the schools received both support and backlash.

On Tuesday, Moore police officers stepped in to substitute teach. On social media, they received support, but also backlash from people who were upset that they were substituting in full uniform and armed.

The officers are only subbing at elementary schools in an effort to help with the teaching shortages in Moore. Apple Creek Elementary was one of those schools.

“We are in the public service business and we saw an opportunity to serve the public,” said Lt. Kyle Johnson.

Police officers are in the classroom at Moore elementary schools.

“Most of the officers are actually loving it,” Johnson said.

Now, however, their efforts have received some criticism online because the officers have their loaded guns.

The department said that this isn’t the first time the children have seen an officer in full uniform.

“Everything starts with relationships. When you’ve already established a relationship, you’re not a scary authoritarian figure to our children. They understand that when you come in to provide a service and to help them, what our true desires are,” Johnson said.

Moore Public Schools released a statement that said in part, “These officers are assigned to our school sites every day through safety partnerships we have with the Moore Police and Oklahoma City Police Departments. Our students see and interact with their on-site School Resource Officers (SRO) while they attend school.”

Plenty of people also complained about these officers being mask-free.

“Officers are adhering to all current school policies. Every officer that reports for duty does full temp checks. We don’t allow officers to come to work that are sick or displaying symptoms. We take necessary protocols for people that have had exposures,” Johnson said.

The department said that this is not impacting their ability to respond to calls.