Moore, OK – Uniformed police officers in an Oklahoma community have been stepping in to serve as teachers in understaffed classrooms.
The Moore Police Department (MPD) posted a photo collage on Tuesday showing several officers hard at work in their local schools.
“Moore PD is a proud community partner of Moore Public Schools,” the post read. “This week, several on-duty officers are serving in the classroom as schools continue to face teacher and staff shortages.”
Two officers took on a class of sixth graders at Apple Creek Elementary, while additional officers served at Broadmoore and Houchin, according to the MPD.
“We are thankful to be able to assist our community during these difficult times,” the agency said.
Between six and eight MPD officers are working as substitute teachers this week, MPD Chief Todd Gibson told FOX News.
They are receiving their regular pay and are not receiving any compensation from the school district, according to the news outlet.
The department’s patrol division was not impacted by their temporary reassignment, and the agency is not facing a staffing shortage.
Chief Gibson said the officers jumped at the chance to help the district’s students.
“Police officers did not have to participate, they chose to,” he told FOX News. “These officers are deeply connected to the community and the schools. They always enjoy the opportunity to interact with the future of our community in a helpful way.”
The MPD received more than 4,300 comments on its Facebook post.
While many were positive, a large number were critical.
“Do parents have the option of opting out from having armed officers in classrooms with their children? No thanks!!” one person wrote.
“This is literally what substitute teachers are for,” another scoffed. “Cops aren’t teachers and they shouldn’t pretend they are. If the school is short staffed they need to be closed. Ridiculous.”
Others were deeply appreciative of the officers’ time and thanked them for stepping in to help the struggling district and its students.
“Thank you Moore PD for setting the example so more people in the community will step up. This is great. It will show kids in school that officers are real people. Great idea,” one post read.
“Thank you so very much Moore Police Department!” another person wrote. “You truly helped us out so much today! My students saw you around the school and thought it was so cool! You are amazing!!!”