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Six SROs to be hired
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After being denied $1.2 million in federal money to fund six additional school resource officers, Warren County Schools and the County Commission are taking steps to cover costs themselves and are ready to begin hiring.
Six additional SROs will be hired by the school system to accompany the five already assigned.
With 11 officers, every school except Warren Academy will be covered. WCHS has two.
Each SRO will cost around $45,000 per year in salary and benefits, which will be paid by the school system. Director of Schools Bobby Cox estimates next year’s budget will include half a million dollars for SROs.
On Tuesday, the Budget and Finance Committee voted unanimously to approve a budget amendment to allow the Sheriff’s Department to cover training and equipment for the new officers. SROs are employees of the Sheriff’s Department, on assignment at schools.
Equipment cost per officer will be $3,395, totaling $20,370 for all new SROs. Training at the Police Academy will be around $2,500 per person. Two of the SROs expected to be hired are already trained, which will save the county that expense.
According to Cox, until money for vehicles can be budgeted the new SROs will have to use their personal vehicles. “We told them up front they’ll have to use their personal vehicle to go to and from work. If there’s a transport that has to be made, they’ll have to contact the Sheriff’s Department or one of the SROs who have a vehicle.”
The budget amendment for equipment will next go before the county’s Financial Management Committee for approval, then before the full County Commission in December.