How can a school resource officer protect my child?
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
President Obama has asked congress to pass a school safety proposal that includes $150 million, which will be allocated to school districts so they can afford additional safety enhancements.
"We will help schools hire more resource officers if they want them," said President Obama on Wednesday.
Mo Canady is the Executive Director of NASRO, the National Association of School Resource Officers and said, "There's been a lot of confusion about armed guards recently and NASRO agrees that SROs are the only armed persons who should work on school campuses. To arm others, especially educators or volunteers, could be a recipe for disaster."
Kevin Quinn is the President of NASRO and also a school resource officer.
"You're not just a police officer standing at the front door of the school waiting for something bad to happen, waiting for the next Columbine or Sandy Hook. What you are is you're completely integrated into the school community as a member of the faculty, member of the staff," Quinn explained.
Quinn explained that Sandy Hook Elementary did not have a school resource officer and Columbine did, but he was not on the campus at the time of the shooting.
The question is, do East Texas school districts want to apply for the extra money?
Lindale ISD sent KLTV the following statement:
"Lindale ISD has currently held discussion regarding added security measures for the district, including the addition of resource officers. Therefore, Lindale ISD would have great interest in grants to help fund additional officers.
Due to testing from state mandates, school counselors now have less time to assist and counsel students. Therefore, additional counselors are also a need for many schools. Lindale would seek grants to add staff members in our counseling department.
The Lindale Independent School District will keep a watchful eye for additional news regarding these types of grant opportunities."
Tyler ISD sent KLTV this statement:
"Should funding become available from the COPS office then Tyler ISD will review the criteria and consider applying for the school safety grant."
Quinn said it is a worthy investment.
"I would love to see a school resource officer on every campus. Is it realistic financially? Probably not," Quinn said.
If the proposal passes as is, $150 million will be allocated by a U.S. Department of Justice agency called "COPS".
A senior affairs specialist with the U.S. Department of Justice said they have run identical programs in the past, and it works best by having the school districts apply for a resource officer or whatever safety components they choose. Then, if approved, COPS will provide the funding.
The National Association of School Resource Officers said their request for training has more than doubled since the Sandy Hook tragedy.
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