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No written police rules for parking, handling dismissal at CPS

The Columbia Police Department has no written rules for its officers in handling public school dismissal, according to a records request by ABC 17 News.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to investigate the death of 4-year-old Gabriella Curry at Battle High School. Officer Andria Heese struck Curry with her patrol SUV just before dismissal on Jan. 4 as she was pulling onto the sidewalk to help observe dismissal.

The request, which included any policies or rules for officers to help with traffic flow or their presence at Columbia Public Schools, came up with no records, according to Lydia Green, the department’s records custodian. Green did provide a policy that requires all city-owned vehicles to follow parking regulations “except when responding to an emergency or other urgent official business that requires otherwise.”

The school district, similarly, has no written rules for officers that help with traffic flow. The district’s only plan for Battle High School includes the different pickup and drop-off locations at the school for buses and private vehicles.

Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott White said in an interview last week that it was not uncommon for vehicles to pull onto the sidewalk that Heese did. The access ramp was used for vehicles to get to the nearby athletic field.

Few details of the crash have been released since. Neither CPS nor city of Columbia officials have said whether they will change policies or rules in light of Curry’s death.

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