Last year, Gov. Henry McMaster along with State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman and South Carolina Law Enforcement Chief Mark Keel, campaigned for a certified law enforcement officer in every school across the state. Almost $12 million for the officers was appropriated by the South Carolina General Assembly for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
In September, Spearman announced the funding of 205 new school resource officers for of South Carolina.
“There is no issue more important than the safety and well-being of our students and teachers,” Spearman said in a press release. “School resource officers are a deterrent to violence within the school building and their training and response to crime is an invaluable asset that allows educators to focus on instruction. The funding of these 205 officers puts us within reach of meeting our goal for having an SRO in every school.”
Director of Safety and Risk Management Alan Walters at the Oct. 22 school board work session meeting announced that the Georgetown County school district applied for the funding.
Walters also said that the criterion for receiving the funding is that that a school district cannot receive more than four officers and GCSD was selected to receive the maximum amount. The funding from the state will go directly to the Georgetown County Sheriff’s office and they will provide the name of the four officers who will need to be certified and trained as school resource officers.
“The word I’m getting from Columbia is that they’re hoping there will be funds to expand that program so ultimately they can get that goal of officers in every school carried out,” Walters said. “Getting these officers will be a big improvement for us.”
Walters said which schools the officers will be placed in is still to be determined but most likely they will be located in the rural-area sites where it is harder to get help to when they need it.
The next school board meeting is 5:30 p.m. Nov . 5 in the boardroom at the J. B. Beck Administration Center.