Increasing School Officers

Jan 12, 2013 -- 6:45pm

The tragic school shooting in Newton, Connecticut and recent shooting in California has launched the issue of school safety into a major priority. One suggestion gaining ground is to put armed police officers, also known as school resource officers, in every public school. According to Albemarle County officials, that is no easy task.

Carter Johnson, of the Albemarle County Police Department says the department would love to arm all schools with more officers but they don't have the officers or the resources to expand.

Currently there is a school resource officer in each of the county's four high schools. The police department would need to provide 23 additional officers in order to put one in every school. This means more manpower and that means more money.

Albemarle County Supervisor Ken Boyd says that’s it’s a HUGE expense and "You're talking about millions of dollars a year in operating costs."

In order to pay for officers in schools, Boyd said the county would have to find money in the school board's budget or shift around money in the county's budget.

Plans for a school safety forum are in the works between the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County police departments and school boards. A date is set for sometime in February and the forum will be open to the public.


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