Boone County Schools look to make elementary schools safer by placing police officers in each school

03/19/2018 05:32 PM

FLORENCE – The recent number of school shooting have led school districts to rethink the policies that they have in place and how they may improve school safety for students, faculty and staff.

The Boone County Schools, the third largest district in the state with close to 20,000 students, have partnered with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department to make their elementary schools safer by staffing law enforcement officers at each of the elementary schools in the district.

Boone County Schools Superintendent Randy Poe said that it’s been a concept that’s been looked at for a while in the district.

“This is an opportunity to have a school resource officer at every particular building, and not just on a rotating basis,” Poe said. “This gives the opportunity for an additional layer of security there at the buildings.”

Poe said another advantage of having resource officers in all of the schools is that it gives younger students the chance to build relationships with the officers, which could come into play in averting a crisis situation.

“Whenever we’re notified of things, it’s from another student through that relationship that they have typically that they have built with that school SRO, or with the administration of the building or the teachers,” Poe said.

The additional cost of staffing the officers in the elementary schools is estimated at $500,000 and is split between the sheriff’s department and the school district.

In addition, Boone County Schools have been asked to explore the option of allowing faculty and school staff to have guns in the school building for security if they are willing to do so.

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