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Senator wants state to foot bill for school resource officers

NEW YORK STATE (WROC) - A state senator wants the state to provide the funds for local schools to hire resource officers.

Senator Patrick Gallivan is calling for funding to be included in the 2018-2019 State Budget to provide for school resource officers (SROs) in all New York Schools.

Local officials tell us funding can often be an issue when working to hire resources officers.

School resource officers not only work on overall school safety, but also a bond a familiar face between students, staff and police. Currently, SROs are not mandatory. Some schools, like
Gananda and Pal-Mac, don’t have one, but they split a police officer between districts.

How SROs are paid vary by district. For example: The Gates- Chili district funds their SRO but the Town of Ogden pays the SRO in the Spencerport school district. Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts says for every district to have an officer, it should be funded by the state.

"The Board of Supervisors loves it but they say 'we give $5.4 million for the schools, the schools can pay for it,'" said Sheriff Virts. "Every school that we’ve been in, they’ve liked the service, but it comes down to funding. We need to find the funding through the state. Every school district in the state needs a school resource officer."

The number of SROs also vary per district based on population. Many have one, but RCSD currently has 12. Again, the goal here is for every district in New York to have at least one to help provide more safety to students.

It's not clear how much funding Senator Gallivan is calling for or where the funding would be pulled from. This will be discussed further in the 2018-2019 Budget negotiations.

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