SRO Funding Issues


By Rochelle Dean


in the months following the Newtown shooting tragedy state after state have been enforcing new safety measures inside their schools.
South Carolina is no different.

State Representative Bakari Sellers is pushing a proposed bill that would require a trained School Resource officers be placed in every school. While some say they are all for better school security, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews says it's not the most cost effective way for them to protect residents children. Especially when he says no one is willing to pay what it would cost to make it happen.

Sheriff Matthews says right now the county has 11 SRO's in all of their High and Middle schools and 2 of their elementary schools, but those positions are paid for by grants. If this Proposed bill were to pass, Sheriff Matthews says it would force him to take Deputies off the street and put them in the schools. A huge concern with their dwindling budget and short staffed department.

"I consider children to be our most precious treasures and they need to be protected, but it puts us in a real bind...if we out them in the schools that leaves us with 2 to 3 deputies to man 10 thousand citizens on the street."

Sheriff Matthews suggests perhaps looking at the outdated structure of some of our schools. The most cost effective way however, according to Sheriff Matthews would be to train and arm teachers and administrators who are already inside of the schools so they could act as a first line of defense int he event of an active shooter.

Rep. Bakari Sellers tells ABC Columbia News he plans to present the proposal again during a hearing Wednesday.
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