Page and Rockingham County Sheriff’s Offices to receive grant funding to add SROs

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:09 PM EDT
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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) - The Page County Sheriff’s Office has secured $150,018 in grant funding from the state to allow it to hire two additional school resource officers. The new officers will be placed at Luray and Shenandoah Elementary Schools which means every public school in the county will have its own SRO.

“It has always been a vision of mine to make sure that we have resource officers within all of Page County Public Schools. I was very excited to hear that we had received this grant to make this possible. To make sure that we are keeping our children safe within our school system,” said Page County Sheriff Chad Cubbage.

The funding comes from $37.5 million in Criminal Justice Grant funding announced by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin earlier this summer. The Sheriff’s Office partnered with PCPS to submit a grant application, and now the grant will fund the two positions for four years.

“With the increase in active shooters within schools and the dangers that can potentially be there I think that is definitely a need and I think it’s just about being proactive as sheriff and about being proactive as a school system,” said Cubbage.

Cubbage said the Sheriff’s Office and PCPS have a great working relationship and share a lot of the same visions when it comes to keeping schools and the county safer and more secure.

The Sheriff’s Office hopes to get the new positions filled as soon as possible. Cubbage said the Page County Sheriff’s Office has some certified candidates that have applied and the hiring process is already underway. One thing that does make it a bit more complicated though is the level of experience required for SROs.

“They have to have three years of prior law enforcement experience so with that being said, sometimes it does make it a little more difficult to fill these positions. If you have an officer that has a year or two years of experience they are not eligible for this grant position,” said Cubbage.

SROs do have to complete a one to two-week training program before they can begin working in schools.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office also applied for state funding to add SROs. Currently, it has just six of them across the entire school division.

“We haven’t heard the final word on what the grant would be other than we did get a notification that we are gonna receive something, so we’re very grateful for that. It could be 3 or 4, we’re not exactly sure how many that might be but anything that’s possible is going to be something that’s greatly appreciated. We’re really excited about it already,” said Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson.

Currently, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office has SROs in each of the county’s four high schools as well as the Rockingham Academy and the Massanutten Technical Center. The hope is to use the grant money to add SROs to middle schools.

“We would be able to have SROs at the middle schools to kind of pair them with the current system where we have one in each high school. We’d put one in each of the four middle schools that go with those high schools and it would double the coverage for each of those respective high school systems,” said Hutcheson.

Hutcheson said that the Sheriff’s Office is blessed to have a great school division to work with and is excited at the prospect of being able to have more SROs across the county.

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