Board OKs New Resource Officers

Four SROs Added At County Schools

Posted: May 18, 2013

WOODSTOCK — After a heavy line of questioning, the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors approved a request from the sheriff to put four new school resource officers in county schools next year.
 
Last month, Sheriff Tim Carter proposed that he use $162,506 in asset forfeiture money to fund 80 percent of the salaries and benefits for the additional officers. In Carter’s proposal, the county would be responsible for providing the remaining 20 percent.
 
That 80-20 ratio would change, however, beginning next year, with the county then funding 80 percent of the cost of the employees.
 
The sheriff’s proposal included spending an additional $446,421 in forfeiture funds for five new police vehicles, weapons and other equipment. The forfeiture funds come from money and asset seizures resulting from criminal activity.
 
The board must then sign off on the use of the funds.
 
Supervisor David Ferguson questioned Carter as to how he planned to use the five new vehicles.
 
“I haven’t really gotten into those details at this point,” Carter replied, noting that some of the vehicles could go to the new school resource officers or be used as replacement cruisers for patrol officers.
 
The response didn’t satisfy Ferguson, who said he wanted more thought-out plans.
 
“This is a lot of money, and if you’re going to propose [this] I would have thought that …  you’d have the answer,” he said.
 
Carter said he wasn’t sure how many vehicles his department would be getting until “late in the game.”
 
“At this point, we are going to see however they fit,” he said. “That’s an operational issue that I didn’t come here today [to discuss].”
 
Other items in the proposal included night-vision equipment to replace old equipment for two new officers, body cameras for half the staff and weapons for both the new school resource officers and the Shenandoah County SWAT team.
 
Each new school resource officer will be issued a vehicle, computer and patrol rifle.
 
Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or kmayhew@dnronline.com