Officials Eye New SRO For County Schools
Position Would Oversee Division’s Middle Schools
Posted: March 4, 2013
HARRISONBURG — Money permitting, Rockingham County Schools may welcome a new school resource officer into the division next year to oversee all four middle schools.
Some discussions amongst administrators and school board members have taken place as part of the budgeting process, according to Superintendent Carol Fenn, though nothing has been decided.
The division would need about $55,000 to add a dedicated officer for the middle schools.
Right now, the division’s five SROs are stationed at the county’s four high schools and Massanutten Technical Center, and they also make visits at middle and elementary schools. In all, the division has 25 schools.
“In terms of [having] school resource officers in all 25 schools, our school board at this time has chosen to pursue secure vestibules, surveillance and other systems,” Fenn said. “Equipment needed in a school [is] the primary focus.”
The division is also examining the feasibility of hiring a safety supervisor who would oversee the county schools’ ongoing safety discussions and decisions.
Harrisonburg City Schools has three resource officers — at both middle schools and the high school — and Superintendent Scott Kizner said no discussions or requests have been made to add more officers.
“[I] would probably want to have a conversation with the chief of police first to see what his point of view would be on this,” Kizner said.
He noted that the city, like the county, has instead focused its safety efforts following the school shooting in December in Newtown, Conn., on updating infrastructure.
All city and county schools are on their way to having secure vestibule entrances, or entryways that filter visitors into the main office of a school building.
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