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Baker mayor working to get cops back in city schools

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BAKER - Mayor Darnell Waites opened Tuesday evening's council meeting with a resolution to negotiate a truce between the city's school district and the police department.

"With everything going on with school shootings, we thought it was time to address this," said Waites.

Police presence at Baker schools was virtually non-existent this past year. In September, the school board voted against bringing resource officers back on campuses. Also, the anti-drug program, D.A.R.E., never got going.

Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn has said he believes a significant number of school district members have a political ax to grind with him over his successful election two years ago. He's even provided video documentation showing his D.A.R.E. officer attempting to set up the program earlier this school year.

In a text message Tuesday, Superintendent Herman Brister said, "D.A.R.E. has been and always will be welcome in Baker schools."

WBRZ then asked if he had any documentation to demonstrate the school district acted in good faith with the police department. Brister has yet to respond.

Mayor Waites hopes to soon host a meeting with the school board and the police department to resolve their differences. However, as he read his resolution at Tuesday's public council meeting, there was another seemingly political incident.

"No cameras," Waites told a man recording him with a cell phone from the audience. That man was his political rival in the last election, former Baker Mayor Leroy Davis.

His wife, Elaine Davis, is the vice-president of the Baker School Board.

Leroy Davis said being told to turn off his camera was "no problem." Mayor Waites has yet to respond with a comment.

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