Residents are voting on school budgets on Tuesday.
Several Capital Region districts are looking to add a police presence to their halls in response to the latest rounds of school safety concerns.
North Colonie is one of nine local school districts that have included funding in their proposed budget for school resource officers.
Included in the district’s three-tiered approach is a school resource officer at Shaker High School.
“I think you want to create the conditions that always provide the very safest environment so that you can proactively intervene before a situation becomes a problem,” Joseph Corr, Superintendent at North Colonie School District, said.
Eight other school districts have earmarked funds for school resource officers ranging from $40,000 to $150,000. The cost is split with other towns or relying partly on grants.
Shortly after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, NEWS10 ABC spoke with Sergeant Dave Williams, Washington County’s only school resource officer.
“You hope that if somebody is targeting a building, they’re going to look at that as a potential hurdle or a threat to them,” Sgt. Williams said.
Most parents say they would feel better sending their kids to a school with an officer on site.
“Just to protect the kids,” Mark, a parent, said.
“Whatever they want to allocate for schools is fine with me. We are way behind where we should be,” Michael, a parent, said.
“It’s just better to have the extra protection around the schools. I have a six-year-old so I would be for that,” Nina Dubee, a parent, said.
School resource officers are only part of the solution. Another step for North Colonie includes a partnership with Capital Region BOCES to create an in-school mental health clinic.
“Equally, if not more important, is the notion of what can we do to make sure our students are socially and emotionally well and supported,” Corr said.
Check with your district for specific locations and times.
The following school districts have included funding in their proposed budget for new school resource officer positions:
- Fort Plain
- North Colonie
- South Glens Falls
- Hoosick Falls