Ex-Cons Guarding Schools In D.C.

Jim McElhatton, Washington Times, July 14

The Metropolitan Police Department has licensed private security officers in the D.C. public school system despite past arrests on charges of assault, cocaine possession and passing counterfeit money, according to a draft report by the D.C. inspector general.

“There are contracted security personnel working in [public schools] who may pose a risk to the secure environment of students and staff,” the draft document states.

“There is no assurance that all contracted school security personnel possess the requisite skills to ensure the safety and security of . . . students and faculty,” according to the report, which has not yet been finalized.

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According to the report, the inspector general researched the backgrounds of 30 security officers randomly selected from among 400 working in the school system for Watkins Security Agency of D.C. Inc. last school year.

Eight of those 30 officers, whose names were not released, had criminal histories, including four who did not make any mention of their arrest records on affidavits and employment documents, the report shows.

One security officer had been arrested four times: twice for distributing counterfeit money, once as a fugitive in connection with a previous arrest and another time for simple assault. That officer was convicted for delivering counterfeit money, a felony, in November 1998.

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