ENID, Okla. — Enid Public Schools Board of Education voted Monday night to approve a new hire for the newly created position of director of safety & security/campus police chief.
Jason Priest, a former Enid Police Department sergeant, was selected for the role.
The position is a combined, district-level position. In addition to the standard duties of chief, Priest will "further develop and oversee EPS' comprehensive safety and security program, as well as provide guidance and counsel to administrators concerning the safety and security of EPS students, staff and property," according to the district.
"We are excited to have Jason fill this new role for the district because his work will be critical as we work to strengthen and enhance safety and security efforts in our schools. From emergency planning to day-to-day matter with students, we know his experience and expertise will greatly benefit EPS and those we serve," Superintendent Darrell Floyd said.
Priest left EPD in June to be closer to family, he said. He has 13 total years of law enforcement experience ,including his time with EPD, and is confident he can bring that to bear in a school setting.
"For the most part, whether it's kids or adults, people just want to be talked to and understood," he said.
The campus police chief position came open after the school board voted in December to fire former campus police chief Mike Dods following a dispute between Dods and district administrators.
The board also approved an agreement between Enid Public Schools and David Allen Memorial Ballpark, to better solidify the partnership between them.
EPS has been in partnership with the ballpark since it was opened, but only as part of a verbal agreement for most of that time. That agreement was "further extended" in 2012-13 by a written agreement, but the relationship has grown and evolved since, and the district is looking to make a few more things official.
Besides outlining responsibilities like maintenance, and operating concessions, the document also specifies that if the ballpark terminates its lease with the city of Enid, then EPS will have the opportunity to "take over operating responsibility of the ballpark."
"This document solidifies the commitment of EPS, David Allen Memorial Ballpark, and the city of Enid in a partnership while providing a written document that allows EPS to have an opportunity to take over operations of (the ballpark) without the worry of another entity being given the option without the financial investment in maintenance that has been made by EPS over the years," according to the agreement.
To be valid, the agreement also must be approved by the city commission.