Would love to see your thoughts and please share if you choose to.
So in the next few weeks we are going to see much discussion on the safety of our students and teachers while they attend school. We have all heard the solutions presented and the reasons against those solutions. To me, if the school board does not want safety advocates to be allowed to carry their weapons on site and some advocates are opposed to this idea then the simplest solution is this…
It has been said that to place a SRO in a school costs $130-140,000 per year. Including our private schools, we have 26 schools in CC. We already have a SRO in every high school, so that leaves us with 23 schools to be manned. Let’s take the high end and say it would cost $140,000 per school, that would bring the cost to approximately $3.3 million a year to place a SRO in every school.
Now, this issue will most likely be taken care of by it comes time for any election here in CC but if it is not, my solution would be for the BOCC to fund the $3.3 million to the Sheriff’s Office for the sole purpose of hiring the needed deputies, getting them through training and into our schools no later than the fall of 2018. If put into place by May 1st, these deputies would be out of the academy by October and ready to go into the field to replace the deputies the Sheriff’s Office would have in place at the beginning of the school year. Also, these deputies don’t have to be new recruits, they could be transfers, lateral hires or retired officers that would come back as reserve deputies. Yes it might be a logistics nightmare at first but once in place it should run smoothly. Now you would have a SRO, trained in police work, trained in active shooter response and trained in community policing. When school is not in session, these deputies can be used to supplement the road patrol of the Sheriff’s Office. These deputies in the school would also allow our young children to see the positive side of Law Enforcement instead of the bashing we take on a daily basis from the media.
Yes, I know that our commissioners would have to tighten the budget or find a way to come up with the $3.3 million but I ask you, what price tag we can put on the safety of our children and teachers.
Look, we have Dominion and Excelon making millions, if not billions here in our county and we have already given them huge tax breaks to operate here. If they want to be a good neighbor, maybe they could partner with us and each one pay $1.5 million a year to protect our children and teachers, I mean they don’t have a problem using our deputies for their security, why not for the security of our schools.
It’s just a thought and would need tweaking I’m sure but when I’m elected as a Commissioner, that’s the proposal I will be making and would be going to see the presidents of each of those companies. Then all we need to do is elect members to the BOE who would be on board with it and I know some write in candidates who would jump at the chance…choose wisely on June 26th and November 6th.
David Gatton Commissioner Candidate