GOP Leaders Back Additional School Safety Officers

By: Deon Guillory Email
By: Deon Guillory Email

Governor Bob Mcdonnell and other Republican lawmakers in Virginia are trying to figure out ways to prevent violence in schools.

Republicans in the General Assembly want to add more safety officers to your child's school. They are trying to figure out how to pay for this. If more money isn't available, some officers could find themselves doing more with less.

Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson overseas 170 full time and part time deputies. If some state Republican leaders get their way, more of those deputies will be in your child's school.

"It's starts with determining what's the need, what do we want to put in place, if it's more people then that would be a help." said Hutcheson

State GOP leaders say they will propose funding to put more safety officers in Virginia schools. Delegate Tony Wilt says security is the biggest need and believes something needs to be done now.

"It seems to me that resource officers would be the most immediate area to be able to address bringing safety into the schools." said Wilt.

According to the House Appropriations Committee on Public Safety, 80 percent of middle schools and high schools have resource officers. Only about 25 percent of elementary schools have them.

Lawmakers haven't decided how much money to request to pay for this plan. The extra funds would help Hutcheson add to his staff to make sure all the county schools are covered.

"If we had more folks, potentially we could put someone in, at least the four middle schools and then enable them to have additional coverage at the elementary schools as well. Where it's a little bit harder with our current staffing levels to do that." said Hutcheson

Lawmakers will talk about this when the new session starts in January.


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