BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Bladen County Board of Education sent to County Commissioners a resolution requesting additional School Resource Officers (SRO).
The Bladen County Sheriff recommended that the school district be provided additional SROs to enhance school safety. Currently, there are five SROs assigned to the school district. Based upon recommendation from the Bladen County Sheriff's office, the board of education asked for eight additional SROs to be placed at all school campuses, bringing the total number of SROs to 13.
The Sheriff's office, in collaboration with the board of education, is applying for a four-year federal grant that would fund up to 25 SROs for three years. During year four, local government would be responsible for funding. If approved, this grant would take effect during the 2013-2014 school year.
The board of education petitioned commissioners to allocate funding for the hiring, training and provision of equipment for new SROs based on the recommendations of Sheriff Prentis Benston, and that this allocation be made at the commissioners next regularly scheduled meeting.
The request for additional SROs is outside of the 2013-2014 current expense budget request submitted by Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor to the commissioners on May 6, 2013. However, the budget request submitted does include an additional $150,000 for electronic lock upgrades in schools to increase school safety.
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